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Sending Your Child To An RTF Placement: 9 Questions to Ask

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One of the most heart wrenching experiences that I have had over the years in the field of counseling and psychotherapy involves a parent or family member giving full control to a placement or residential treatment facility (RTF). The experience is difficult for everyone involved, but primarily the family who will lose a certain amount of control to absolute strangers. Many parents struggle with the idea of sending their child or adolescent away from familiar surroundings (school, home, community) and familiar people (family, friends, teachers, etc.). The individual often struggles with losing friends at home or school, parental figures, grandparents, and a certain amount of structure that is familiar. Going away to an RTF for 3 months to 12 months can feel like an eternity for families and can be very traumatic. This article will discuss what an RTF/group home/placement is, what questions to ask, and considerations. This article will also refer only to children and adolescents, but some of this information might apply to adults as well.

One thought on “Sending Your Child To An RTF Placement: 9 Questions to Ask

  • October 21, 2016 at 6:50 am

    This information is very helpful. My daughter is in an rtf placement after leaving a 7 month stay at an impatient children’s psych hospital. The hospital was truly a blessing and has helped her grow, learn, adjust. I live on long Island and after reading this I understand how lucky I am to live here, NYS pays for everything and no consultant needed. I always complain about our taxes and cost of living but won’t anymore. Having a child with mental illness is truly the most painful thing a parent could suffer. My oldest daughter compared our lives to having a death but the feeling is daily, everyone in the family is affected by it. Most days I walk around in a fog but love my family with all my heart.


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