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A guide to realizing if

your child is at-risk, displaying 

self-destructive behaviors, and

needs your help and intervention.



How can I help my ADDICTED TEEN?


Will being ADOPTED make adolescence harder for my child?


How can I deal with the ANGER

 in our family?


Is my teen's BEHAVIOR just normal teenage rebellion?


What do parents and teachers need to know about BULLYING?


What are the characteristics of youth who have caused SCHOOL-RELATED VIOLENCE?




Help!  My teen is a RUNAWAY


My teen is cutting.  What do I need to know about  SELF-INJURY?


What is 'normal' teen SEXUAL BEHAVIOR and what is cause for concern?


Where can I find a reliable ALCOHOL & DRUG TESTING KIT?


What makes a STRONG FAMILY?



Step-by-step program to help improve your child's focus and behavior at school and at home






Call Now!



Learn more how Total Transformation, an at-home program for parents, can help your troubled or struggling teen and heal your family






Paying for a Program

Free & Low-Cost Schools and Programs







Focus Adolescent Services is not a marketing company.

No sales commission is received for school and program placements/enrollments

generated through exposure and recommendation by Focus Adolescent Services.







Bethany's House ~ Christian ministry for pregnant women, age 18 and over providing a free residential program for adoption-minded women.  For more information, e-mail or call 1-800-454-0454 or 209-526-3342.



Cal Farley's Boys Ranch & Affiliates ~ The Cal Farley organization provides Christ-centered basic-care residential programs and services for at-risk boys and girls from throughout the United States at no charge to parents: Boys Ranch, near Amarillo; Girlstown, U.S.A., west of Lubbock; and Cal Farley's Family Program, near Borger.   For information on admissions, call 1-800-687-3722.



Eagle Rock School ~ Year-round, tuition-free, residential high school located in Colorado that provides personalized learning experiences for students, ages 15-17, who are not experiencing success in their current school setting.  Each candidate for admission, nominated through a participating school district or community organization must have strong support from an adult sponsor (preferably the family).  For more information, call 970-586-0600.





Girard College ~ Located in Philadelphia, Girard College is a private boarding school for academically capable students, grades 1-12, with no behavior problems.  The school awards full scholarships to qualified boys and girls from homes without one or both parents and with demonstrated financial need.  Children who live with a custodial caretaker such as a grandparent, relative, or foster parent or guardian are also eligible.  For more information, call 215-787-2600.



Job Corps ~ The nation's largest and most comprehensive residential, education and job training program for at-risk youth, ages 16-24.  Job Corps operates 118 primarily residential Job Corps centers located across the country and in Puerto Rico.  For more information, call 1-800-733-JOBS.



Mercy Ministries of America ~ Mercy Ministries offers a free residential program for girls, ages 13-28, who are dealing with such problems as substance abuse, unplanned pregnancies, suicidal tendencies, eating disorders, depression, abuse, self-injury, and sexual addictions.  Locations include Tennessee, Louisiana, Missouri, AustraliaUnited Kingdom, Canada (Surrey, BC), New Zealand, and Peru.  Future locations are underway in California.  To qualify for entry into the program, each girl must have a willing heart to come and participate fully in the ministry.  Read the Mercy story.  For more information, call 615-831-6987 or e-mail.



Milton Hershey School ~ A residential school in Pennsylvania offering free education, housing, clothing, meals, medical/dental care, and recreational activities.  Students must be between 4 and 15 years of age at time of enrollment, at least average ability, and no behavioral problems at school or home Prospective families and children are invited to attend an Opportunity Fair in your area to learn more about the school.  For more information, call 1-800-322-3248.


National Guard Challenge Program ~ A preventive youth-at-risk program, targets unemployed drug-free and law-free high-school dropouts, 16 to 18 years of age.  Core components of the program are citizenship, academic excellence (GED/high school diploma attainment), life-coping skills, community service, health and hygiene, skills training, leadership/followership, and physical training. The five-month residential phase is followed by a year-long mentoring relationship with a specially trained member from each youth's community.

Alaska Military Youth Academy ChalleNGe Program - 907-384-6017

Arizona Project Challenge - 480-988-4100

Arkansas Youth Challenge - 501-212-5344

Grizzly Youth Academy (California) - 1-800-926-0643

Florida Youth Challenge Academy - 1-866-276-9304

Fort Gordon Youth Challenge Academy (Georgia) - 706-791-5950

Fort Stewart Youth Challenge Academy (Georgia) - 912-767-2666

Hawaii Youth Challenge Academy - 808-673-7530

Lincoln's Challenge (Illinois) - 217-892-1315

Kentucky Bluegrass Challenge Academy - 502-624-3698

Louisiana Youth Challenge - 1-800-CAMP-KID

Freestate Challenge Academy (Maryland) - 410-306-1804

Michigan Youth Challenge Academy - 269-968-1397

Mississippi Youth Challenge - 1-800-507-6253

Montana Youth Challenge Program - 1-877-367-6927

Nevada Youth Challenge Program - 775-885-8201

New Jersey Challenge Youth Program - 609-562-0571

New Mexico Youth Challenge Academy - 1-800-366-9098

Tarheel Challenge Youth Program (North Carolina) - 1-800-573-9966

Thunderbird Youth Academy (Oklahoma) - 918-824-4850

Oregon Youth Challenge Program - 541-317-9623 ext 223

Puerto Rico Youth Challenge Program - 787-260-1757

South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy - 803-896-6480

Seaborne Challenge (Texas) - 409-741-7131

Virginia Commonwealth Challenge - 1-800-796-6472

West Virginia Mountaineer Challenge Academy - 1-800-529-7700

Wisconsin Challenge Academy - 608-269-9000

Wyoming Youth Challenge - 307-836-7500



Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ~ Online directory to help locate treatment facilities for adolescents and adults. Call 1-800-622-HELP; 1-877-767-8432 (Spanish); 1-800-487-4889 (TDD).



YouthBuildUSA ~ In YouthBuild programs, unemployed and undereducated young people ages 16-24 work toward their GED or high school diploma while learning job skills by building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people.  To find a location near you, click here.  For more information, call 617-623-9900.



Youth Haven Ranches ~ Week-long Christian summer camp and year-round weekend retreats at no charge to needy and underprivileged young people between the ages of 7 and 12 (8 and 12 during the summer).  For information on the Arizona Desert Ranch, call 520-466-3093.  For information on the Michigan Ranch, call 517-569-3328.


Disclaimer:  References or links from these pages to other pages outside Focus Adolescent Services do not necessarily constitute any endorsement or recommendation.  Focus Adolescent Services is not responsible for the contents of any pages outside our control.  Information contained in Focus Adolescent Services or on any linked sites is not intended as medical advice.  Its intent is solely informational and educational.  The information is not a substitute for talking with your health professional.  Readers are advised to exercise their own further informed review, judgment, and evaluation in the selection of any and all programs, services, and health information.




Considering a Private Residential Treatment for a Troubled Teen?  Questions for Parents and Guardians to Ask (pdf)


Difficult Decisions: Lessons Learned From One Family's Story of Residential Placement


Drug Treatment Methods ~ The ultimate goal of all drug abuse treatment is to enable the patient to achieve lasting abstinence, but the immediate goals are to reduce drug use, improve the person's ability to function, and minimize the medical and social complications of drug abuse.


Experiencing Success is Easier Than Measuring It ~ In short, "success" is however you define it.


Know When to Seek Help for Your Child ~ Signs that may indicate  a child and adolescent psychiatric evaluation will be useful.


Making Decisions About Substance Abuse Treatment ~ When substance abuse treatment is recommended, parents can obtain the information they need by asking the following questions from professionals.


Placements to Obtain Treatment and Services for Children (pdf)


Questions to Ask Before Psychiatric Treatment of Children and Adolescents ~ Parents should raise these questions before their child is admitted to the hospital.


Residential Treatment: A Resource for Parents ~ The children belong to the family, not to the residential program.


State Standards and Definitions for Restraint and Seclusion


The Trouble with Troubled Teen Programs ~ Until we figure out a better balance between the right of parents to place their kids in whatever programs they choose and the right of kids to be free from inappropriate punishment by agents of their parents or the state, abusive programs will continue.


Understanding Your Mental Health Insurance ~ Useful questions to ask when evaluating the mental health benefits of an insurance plan or HMO.


The Use of Restraints and Seclusion in Residential Care Facilities for Children ~ Restraints and seclusion must only be used in emergency situations to ensure the physical safety of the child and all others and should never be used for purposes of discipline, retaliation and convenience.


What is Behavior Modification? ~ Behavior modification  rewards desired behavior and "punishes" undesirable behavior. This technique, based on the work of B.F. Skinner, continues to be used in therapy and is used in many psychological settings.

Focus Adolescent Services