Choosing A Program (Part 3)

Check Local Resources

Parents contemplating sending their teen away to a boot camp or boarding school should always visit the potential placement option prior to enrolling their son or daughter there. The importance of visiting a program prior to placement can not be emphasized enough. This will give parents the opportunity to meet the staff that work with the kids. Parents should sample the food, check,out the sleeping arrangements, and speak directly with the teens enrolled in the program. Parents will know if the teens answers to their questions are sincere or manipulated. The potential program should have an open door policy. This means that parents, can visit at any time, and that they can come unannounced. This practice may be a good indicator that the program doesn’t have anything to hide. However, just because a program has an open door policy doesn’t give it a green light or mean that it is perfect. Parents should visit with the state and local authorities that regulate the program they are interested in. Local Police departments may also prove to be a good source of information as well. If the police are regularly called into the program there may be unseen problems brewing.

Program References

Program references can also be a good source of information for parents to explore. Keep in mind however, that programs will only give references to parents that have had a good experience and positive things to say about them. This is not underhanded or shady in anyway, just the way business is typically done. In some cases the people that have negative things to say are people that owe the program money, or people that didn’t follow the recommendations of the program. Some may even go so far as to create websites casting a negative light on a school or program. These is definitely worth investigating, and should be a topic of discussion with the potential placement. Some parent referrals may also be tied to a referral fee. Some programs pay people for sending students to their schools. This is not terrible but should be taken into consideration when speaking with the referral. The more parent referrals a program has the better it may be. It would be a good idea to talk to parents that were having the same type of problems you are currently having with your teen. It is also a good idea to talk to parents that have their children home from the program now. The proof of the program is what the teen does when they return home. Most every student in every program eventually does well while they are there. It isn’t until they have freedom that they will make mistakes. It is inevitable for teens to make mistakes when they return home. Every teen in America makes mistakes. The true indicator of success for the teen will be how they correct themselves and get back on track after the mistake is made. There is no such thing as a perfect teen. Parents who expect this type of program success are expecting the impossible, and will surely be disappointed with any program they choose. Unrealistic expectations can be problematic when trying to find a program for your teen.