A little angry at Residential Treatment Center (RTC)


difficult child 2 is in an ok Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Not happy with all of the things that happen but his therapist there is good and can get him to talk. I have many things that I could say against them but the phone call we got from the social worker yesterday steamed me. I have been thinking on this for some time and I just don't get it. They call us when difficult child 2 gets restrained or time out room or any of that in his cottage (that is what they call it). Well evidentally at the school there on the campus he is at they have troubled kids from the area there that go to school that aren't in the facility he is in. I am not sure how I feel about that since he is there for not only behaviour but sexual abuse and predator problems. Well the call we got from the Social Worker here at our home area said he is getting pills from one of the kids that comes from off campus. Tylonal with codiene and something else and has been taking them for an unditermined amount of time. :smile: How is this possible? They have staff teachers and assistans etc. I have to call down today because it was too late yesterday to follow up with the school. Keep in mind these are the same people I had to nag to get his IEP almost 3 months late. Keep in mind that these are the people that failed my son in one class because he was going to speech and wasn't getting the work done. (Not like I am there to see to it and didn't know about that one until we had report card.) I took care of that one as soon as I found out. Now he finishes what he doesn't do during the free times. I am so tired of all of these things and so many others. Not that I am happy with difficult child 2 for taking someone elses medications but geez he is supposed to have constant supervision so how does this happen for an undetermined amount of time. He also won't say who it is evidentally. I haven't talked to him yet either because half of the time when we call these days he is in the time out room. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif I am going to call about it after work and the Y. I can't change anything about it until I can talk to the school and him etc so no reason to not do the things I want. He is safe at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) right? So they tell me anyway. ARgh.

:warrior: time for the armor.



Well-Known Member
Beth, you have some pretty big and justifiable concerns going on. I would jot down a list for when you speak with the staff and try not to get too emotional. Keep notes of what is said (they will offer solutions to the issues I bet) and send a memo of understanding to the director via certified mail. Unfortunately, difficult children seem to be able to find drugs wherever they are at. Be prepared, you may end up having to travel down for a meeting soon. {{{Hugs}}} It's hard when you trust someone to look after your child's well being and they don't do the best possible job.


Well-Known Member

Remember, this could have happened right in your very own house and it could have been you that did not realize if for 3 months, too. This happens in homes across the globe.
I am NOT making an excuse for the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but I do want you to maybe consider a different view of it. I would still approach them, but more with the solution you would come up with for this if he were in your home and you found pills. What would you do?

I really hope I did not offend in any way, it was just what popped into my head when I read your post.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

I understand your anger - your frustration.

The sad comment about Residential Treatment Center (RTC) settings of this nature is that our difficult children are exposed to a great deal more than we would want. Did Residential Treatment Center (RTC) do their job? Hard to say. Is there a morning search; are there one on one aides? You see where I'm going here.

I'm not thrilled with the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) I've dealt with over the last few years, I gotta tell you. I know the frustration that your child isn't being watched over - kept safe, etc.

I'm sorry that difficult child was once again exposed to drugs; that choices made weren't in his own best interest. That Residential Treatment Center (RTC) dropped the ball.

Take care of yourself. :smile:


I am now waiting on return calls as everyone this morning seems to be away from their desk. Hope they don't have caller id and are avoiding me. The reason it makes me so mad is we get belittle for not controlling our son and looked down on and condescended to so often that we are expected to believe these folks are flawless and it is all difficult child's or our fault when things happen. I have ranted myself blue in the face to the few people in the real world I can talk to about why they aren't accountable. He has a very major speech problem and was in out source speech twice a week and school provided speech once a week. Because they couldn't manage to get him to speech twice a week like they were supposed to the speech person dropped him down to 1 a week out source. I know in the grand scheme of things it may seem small but when people don't understand difficult child he gets even more frustrated with things. He needs the repition. The common excuse I get from social worker, case manager teachers etc is that they have so many clients it is hard to keep up with them all. They have no form of accountability and when called on it then we are not cooperating with his treatment plan because we are being negative. I know it can be a catch 22 but jeez the whole reason he is in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is to get him the care he needs because we could not provide it at home. Well I could at least make sure he never missed a darn appointment. I just get tired of being the one to always keep holding the ball. I thought I had passed part time holding of the ball to them.



Mine has been in more than a few RTCs over the years. There are some things that are acceptable and some that are not. My first suggestion is to write down each time they call what they said, how long he's been in isolation and so forth. Also each time they call ask for a copy of the written "incident report". In most states this is something they must do and in some states send to the state licensing people directly. But ask them for whatever they have in writing. If they say nothing ask them to send a report to you in writing of what happened.

Wendy, I hear you on not recognizing sub abuse. But we as parents are not trained professionals. The licensing of these places requires that they have trained, fingerprinted, background checked, etc people with the specified training in the law as well as the specified ratios, etc. There are extensive rules about how these places are run, eg sub abuse programs have different rules than RTCs and this isn't a sub abuse program. All of these rules are by the State. If they are not following the rules you can, as a parent, report it and the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) will be inspected, including all their records, by the State. Many have been closed due to poor inspections. So I hear you Wendy but I find it difficult to believe that there isn't one trained professional in addition to staff in each cottage. Again, ratios vary by state but....and any training for this field includes at least some training in recognizing sub abuse. ALL difficult children are at risk for sub abuse, including in RTCs. In a true sub abuse program they search the kids each time they come back onto campus, it's required. Which is not to say that mine didn't sneak stuff in inside his sock or whatever but in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) the rules could be less strict.

Beth, they go off campus to school based on where they are in the program. If a child is being prepared to leave the facility they may send them off campus to see how they handle a public school, just as they send them for weekend home visits.

The school within the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is a Special Education school governed by the State education rules and in most states Special Education schools have a different license. Again, that's who you go to with concerns if the school does not resolve your concerns.

Them calling you about every restraint and isolation is also probably a law in your state.

If your child's behavior is based on inability to communicate it seems to me he/she should qualify for alternative/ augmented communication on the basis that the current form of communication is causing loss of edueational time due to inability to communicate. Seems a straight forward case for inclusion in the IEP. It would be something the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) would bill either your medication insur, the SD of origin since it's required by the IEP, or the state agency paying for his mental health services. In any event, I don't see it as your cost but as medical and/or educational requirement at this point.

I wouldn't be on the phone to these people. I would be sending them clear, concise letters with your concerns. If it doesn't improve, second letter threatens to report them to state. Third letter is cc'd to state with a call to state.

About the lack of therapy, if it's in the IEP they are required to make up the time missed. Ask them when they are going to make it up. Ask them if the staff in his cottage have been trained to communicate with him. If not, ask them to get his professional speech therapist in to do the training.