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Posted on 12/27/2022

Empower Your Teen: Exploring Therapeutic Boarding Schools for Academic and Emotional Support

Empower Your Teen: Exploring Therapeutic Boarding Schools for Academic and Emotional Support

Are you a parent or guardian who is in search of academic and emotional support for your teen? A Therapeutic Boarding School may be the answer.


It’s difficult to watch your teen go through intense emotional, behavioral, and academic struggles. If they are in a public school, and seem to be floundering, you may begin researching other alternatives, such as homeschooling, charter schools, local educational co-ops and virtual academic services. You may also consider a Therapeutic Private School or a Therapeutic Boarding School


What Is A Therapeutic Boarding School?


Therapeutic Private School provides a safe and supportive environment-offering an academic experience, while also concentrating on the child or teen’s emotional and behavioral needs. In the case of Therapeutic Boarding Schools, the teen lives on campus instead of going home each day, as they would with a Therapeutic Private School, which is non-residential.


The Therapeutic Boarding Schools is designed to tackle learning and behavioral issues in a way that a traditional school may or may not be equipped to address. For “troubled teens” or youth who are struggling with mental health issues, at-risk behaviors, and peer or family issues, Therapeutic Boarding Schools offer a supportive, structured, therapeutic and academic setting without the distraction of unhealthy or inappropriate influences. 


Therapeutic Boarding School is designed to provide a predetermined level of structure to encourage emotional, physical, behavioral, social, and academic development on a 24-hour basis. Placement may be for an academic semester or academic year, and some students attend multiple years until they graduate from high school. Some Therapeutic Boarding Schools are year-round schools, and some follow the traditional academic calendars that you might expect of public or private schools. 

How Do I Know If My Child Needs A Therapeutic Boarding School?


Therapeutic Boarding Schools are for teens who are facing behavioral or mental health concerns that are beyond what a family can effectively manage at home utilizing community resources.


A teen who needs stability, structure, and a healing environment to while they learn can benefit from a Therapeutic Boarding School.


Are Therapeutic Boarding Schools Effective?


Therapeutic Boarding School is an effective environment for troubled teens to get back on track with their life. With a Therapeutic Boarding School, a child can benefit from:


Safety: Other school environments that may pose the risk of bullying and other sources of intense stress can be quite detrimental to your teen. In a therapeutic boarding school environment, you can expect your child to feel a sense of relief or safety if they previously struggled with traumatic experiences during regular school


Structure: A teen functions best in a daily structured environment, as it provides them a certain level of security and trust. A therapeutic boarding school offers a balance of structured academic and behavioral support.


Healing: When teens can focus their attention on healing without the interference of negative peer pressure and familial stress, they begin their journey towards healing, recovery, and emotional, physical and mental wellness.


Educational Focus: Ongoing mental stress can interfere with a teens ability to be productive at school, and lead to a decline in grades. At a Therapeutic Boarding School teens can begin to advance in their education and catch up academically to peers. Ongoing educational achievements encourages a teen’s belief in themselves and boosts their self-confidence, even potentially leading to interest in a future college education.


How Do I Find The Best Therapeutic Boarding School?


When considering alternative education, it’s important to thoroughly research schools and speak with their staff, other parents, and professionals who work with the school.  If possible, tour the school and speak with staff about their program and successes. You may decide to engage the services of an Educational Consultant. When selecting the best Therapeutic Boarding School for your child, pay attention to the following indicators:


  • Transparency about the school’s outcomes as an institution.
  • Type of accreditation. For schools who are not accredited, discuss their reason for not seeking accreditation and how they continually assess their program and implement changes.
  • Provide a clear understanding of why specific therapy options are utilized in their program.
  • Able to specifically outline how they can provide the care your child needs.
  • The utilization of licensed clinicians to meet the mental health needs of students.
  • A focus on the best interests of your child.
  • Clearly state the level of care in which they specialize.
  • Their written communication plan with parents while your child is in school.
  • How the school integrates the family into the program at all phases, but particularly towards transition home.


How Much Does A Therapeutic Boarding School Cost?


As of 2022, the average annual cost for a Therapeutic Boarding School ranges from $8000-$12,000.


Does Insurance Cover Therapeutic Boarding School?


Though some insurance companies are beginning to provide coverage for residential treatment programs for teens, financial support for therapeutic boarding schools is not offered. Therefore, families should expect to pay the total cost of attendance of a therapeutic boarding school for their teen.

Are Therapeutic Boarding Schools Tax Deductible?


Therapeutic Boarding School is considered a non-deductible expense according to IRS guidelines. Generally, the only portion that may be deductible is the portion that directly relates to your teen's therapy sessions.  This may also be covered by your insurance behavioral health benefits.  Talk with your insurance company and consult with a Certified Public Accountant. prior to placement about what expense documentation. 


How Do I Pay For A Therapeutic Boarding School?


When seeking to pay for your child's Therapeutic Boarding School, you can consider the following avenues:


  • Local community fundraising
  • Educational Loans
  • Scholarships
  • Using your designated college fund
  • Grants
  • Local District Assistance
  • Home Equity Credit Line
  • Credit Card


Final Thoughts


Therapeutic Boarding School is designed to provide both emotional and academic out-of-home support for troubled teens. It provides an environment with more structure, support and direct attention than a child would receive in a public-school setting or regular private school. 


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