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Top 3 Questions Parents Should Ask a Teen Placement Program

Mother comforts her troubled teenage daughter

By Andrew Stroup, CMA Director

All parents have questions when it comes to raising teenagers. Teens struggle with roller-coaster-like emotions and hormones, which can be difficult for parents to navigate on a daily basis. But if you are the parent of a teen with more severe and concerning behaviors, you might be in the unique situation of needing a therapeutic residential program. Researching residential placements can lead to even more confusion on what questions to ask when it comes to your teenager’s needs. Here are the top three questions parents should ask when assessing the quality and fit of a therapeutic program for their teen:

What are the Placement Criteria for your Program?

This answer to this question is not only helpful to know if your own child will be accepted into the program based on his or her needs, but it will also show you the ages, gender, and types of issues other students are working on alongside your student. Knowing these factors will further help you assess if a particular program is the right fit for your teen.

What Training, Accreditation, Licenses, and Certifications Do the Placement Option and Their Staff Have for Working with Troubled Teens?

There are a wide range of placement options with varying levels of expertise and training. High quality programs will have robust training programs for their staff, Masters level or higher education for their counselors and program leadership, and will have multiple layers of accountability and oversight from reputable third parties to ensure their program and counseling program is meeting recognized best practices.

How Much Does the Teen Placement Program Cost?

While this question is quite obviously a question all parents are going to ask, I want to caution you from using the cost as a guide for a placement decision. The reality is that you get what you pay for in most situations, and your child’s needs are not dependent on the price of those services. Often times parents will need to sacrifice a great deal for the hope of their child being restored to a balanced and healthy life.

If you are only in need of a summer camp for your adolescent, then you can expect to pay a summer camp price of $2,000-$5,000/month. This cost covers basic room and board, fun programming, and supervision for your child. However, if you are in need of intensive counseling services, with highly trained and highly skilled therapists and staff who specialize in offering restorative services, you should expect to pay upwards of $8,000-$12,000/month.

Caribbean Mountain Academy (CMA) seeks to provide the highest quality Christian Therapeutic Boarding School program available, at the most affordable price for families in need. CMA has an intensive training program for its staff, and all are trained and certified in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention. CMA has supervision from CONANI (Child Services in the Dominican Republic), is accredited through Christian Schools International, and has clinical oversight by Masters, Licensed, and PHD-level counselors and social workers through its parent organization, Crosswinds, Inc. CMA and Crosswinds are also preparing for accreditation of their programs through the Council on Accreditation. Caribbean Mountain Academy operates as a ministry of Crosswinds. As such, CMA raises financial support from ministry partners and churches throughout the United States specifically to lower its operational costs in order to offer intensive therapeutic services at a summer camp price year-round.

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