Starting out Residential Treatment


New Member
Hi all, new member here. I have been reading some threads which are very useful and enlightening.
My son was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety which led to prodromal/mild Psychosis. He goes to school very often. He has been in a situation before where he was so aggressive, disrespectful, defiant and manipulative. Got hospitalized twice, 1st diagnosis is Mood Disorder, recent was Unspecified Psychosis The last diagnosis makes him really depressed and totally did not attend to school, rarely talks to us. He refused treatment and therapy, denies his illness, or making his own diagnosis himself. He has an IEP, the team and us agreed for Residential due to continuously resisting care and services offered.

My concern is, he is turning 18 y/o this coming June 2019. And if he gets into the Residential, he would only get 2 months of treatment then he'll get all the decision he wants and will be out of the scene. If he decides to be out of Residential and come back home, do we have the right to refuse to take him back? We are worried he may not be fully treated in less than 2 months. We plan to threaten him just in case we'll reach that part, staying to get full treatment ( if needed) or ending up on the street. Just in case he chose to be on the street ( hopefully not), are we legally responsible if he ends up homeless with his diagnosis?

Seeing my son homeless is beyond my nightmare. I will do everything within my power to prevent that from happening. Is there a higher chance we can get a Legal Responsibility to make a decision for them once their 18 with this case?

Also, anyone who has a son/daughter who has been through the Residential Treatment? How effective was it with their diagnosis?

Thank you in advance. God bless us all.

overcome mom

Active Member
Glad you decided to write. We all have had various problems with our children. My son does not have the same diagnosed as yours but has been in residential 3 times. It sounds like his problems will not be "fixed" or managed in 2 months. The hardest part for your son will be accepting that he has a life long problem. That doesn't mean it can't be managed so he can live a long and fulfilling life but that he will need to do somethings differently in order for that to happen ie medications, behavioral therapy, finding ways to reduce stress etc. At 17 -18 you don't want to be different heck at any age we don't want to deal with any "extra" problems. His acceptance of his situation will be one that will evolve over time. Two months in residential is not very long. Most people just start to figure out their place in 4-6 weeks. The medications start to have there full effects at about 2-4 weeks but many times need to be adjusted and/or change. After that point, in my opinion, behavioral therapy is more effective. You haven't really said what your son wants. Does he want to return home after residential? I would definitely try to involve him in the decisions.
It is very hard to get legal responsibility over someone,as an adult, to place them in a facility unless they are actively suicidal or homicidal. You also need to remember that they are not locked in most facilities so they can take off if they really want to. Most lock the door and try to supervise but if they really want out they can find a way.
Once your son turns 18 you are no longer legally responsible for him and do not have to take him back home. But if you read any of the other threads you will see that just because you are no longer legally responsible it really doesn't take away the feeling of responsibility. Let us know how things go. Sounds like you have already been through a lot.


In Utah, with an almost 18 year old child in treatment, you can petition for Legal Guardianship of an Adult Child. I believe it takes about 2 months, so start early. The process is more streamlined and easier in Utah because the state has a lot of treatment centers and they understand that treatment shouldn't necessarily end right when the child turns 18. I believe you have to re-petition the court annually after that.


Active Member
My son is 16 teen , I cant count how many residential treatment centers he’s been to. He also had mood disorder/ ODD biopolar. I honestly don’t think it helps much, unless they want to be helped. Lots of the ones my son went to , the boys were court ordered to be there, lot of gang members etc .He’s either ran away from them or got into a fight there, but this is just his situation, I’m sure there’s boys who actually do get the help they need ,unfortunately for my son he didn’t , everything went in one ear out the other because he thinks he’s ok. Just do good research on wherever you send him.My son will be 17 teen soon & nothing has helped all the counseling, rehabs etc now he is in juvenile detention. I hope it works out for you & your son. Its heart breaking & I feel you pain.Keep us updated.