What is Residential Placement Like?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by FlowerGarden, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    My difficult child (17 years old now) is being considered for residential placement and he is very upset with this idea. When he was in the hospital, kids that had been in residential or had siblings in Residential Treatment Center (RTC), told him how terrible it is. So, he is miserable.

    What can we expect? When we go for the interview, what things should I be asking, etc.?
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'll be honest with you and tell you that it's no picnic. That being said, he either needs it, or he doesn't.

    The questions I would ask would be about release. Do kids generally get released because they're ready, or is it because their coverage ran out? If most kids are "ready to leave" in 30 days, they're lying. That's the insurance running out.

    What type of post release planning will they employ? If they are just holding on to your kid until the money runs out, I wouldn't put my kid through it. They just want your money.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Witz's response gave me pause ("no picnic") but after reflecting, yep, she's right. I guess we've just been doing this too long and I no longer consciously recognize that it isn't a whole heck of a lot of fun.

    As with everything, there are good and bad RTCs. I strongly recommend you visit as many as possible and ask questions. thank you's been in 2 excellent ones, 1 very bad one (though I didn't realize how bad until after he was out), and is currently in a program that is borderline in terms of being therapeutic but I do think he is as safe as *he* will allow, which has always been my #1 priority.

    At 17, your son probably can refuse Residential Treatment Center (RTC) unless it's court ordered (age of consent for psychiatric treatment is usually younger than 18, depends on your state). Also, if he's not amenable to going, chances are it won't be a productive placement. Some degree of cooperation is usually best. I'd seriously consider taking him along when you visit RTCs to help calm his fears.

    Because of his age, I'd really focus on what they do in terms of life skills, transition to adulthood, and education, in addition to the therapeutic components.

    The good RTCs thank you's been in were safe, clean, well-staffed, and worked well with us in terms of trying to reunite the family. Trying to imagine how he would describe an Residential Treatment Center (RTC)... I think he would say he didn't like them (we'll ignore the bad one because that's a whole 'nother issue) but what kid would like living in an institution? When behaviors are so severe that they cannot be handled safely at home (and that is a purely subjective perception - some families on the board have dealt with behaviors that are at least as unsafe as thank you's yet are somehow able to manage them - and my hat is off to them), then it's time to look at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement, in my humble opinion. I would *never* strongly recommend Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement because each family is different and each family needs to come to that decision based on their own needs.

    What would be your goals for the outcome of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement?

    This is a list of questions to ask RTCs. It's just a starting place - add your own!

    It's never an easy decision. You have to, in my humble opinion, weigh what's best for your son, for your family, and what needs to happen in order for him to be a safe and productive adult. My thoughts are with you as you consider this.
  4. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    His psychiatrist brought up the residential placement because she feels he is spiraling out of control but is very "saveable". Because of his age, she feels this is the best way to reach him before he turns 18. When he is in the hospital on a structured schedule and less peer pressure and outside involvement, he does better.

    At home, he rebels against us too much. He has often said that he doesn't know why but a teacher, neighbor, etc. can tell him what to do but he can't handle us telling him what to do. The atmosphere at home is tense and horrible because of his rages and the damage he has done. We don't have family that can take him for a long stay.

    So, the dr feels residential will provide the structure and help guide him in handling his disorder and help him learn how to react better instead of aggressively.

    He is court ordered to attend residential. When the police were called because he was raging out of control and "terrorizing" me, he started yelling and swearing at them. They charged him with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. The judge took the doctor's recommendation of residential placement and is enforcing it.

    We really don't have much of a choice as to where he will be placed. Space is so limited. I have been told that the one he is being considered for is very good. One of the staff members at the hospital had worked there a couple of years ago and she saw a lot of positives. Hopefully, my difficult child will find that, too.

    Witzend, the link you provided is fantastic.