Residential Treatment Centers for Teens: Effective – Yes
I have worked at Aspen Ranch, a Residential Treatment Center for at risk teens, for four years. I have held many positions including direct care staff and Shift Manager. I am going to prove that residential treatment centers for adolescents are, in fact, effective. I will be starting with a brief history of RTC’s (Residential Treatment Centers) and then be moving forward with facts and opinions on the matter to prove this point. History of the Residential Treatment Center
According to D. J. Kolko inpatient services, specifically intended for troubled adolescents, first began to appear in the United Stated in the 1920’s. The lack of outpatient services and the parents’ feeling of not being able to raise their teenager correctly combined to fuel the growth and spreading of treatment centers across the nation. (Shapiro, 2003) Residential treatment centers have grown tremendously over the past twenty years and now offer a wide variety of help to teens including basic residential facilities, school settings, personal and group therapy, chemical dependency counseling, Alcoholics Anonymous groups, behavior management techniques, recreational therapy, and some even include equine therapy. Research Studies
A big argument has been set forth by those opposing residential treatment centers that there are too few studies conducted on the effectiveness of these programs. Up until the late 1990’s this was true. Studies have been conducted by J. F. Curry (1991), J.R. Weisz (1992), S. I. Pfeiffer and S.C. Strzelecki (1990), and M. Blackman, J, Eustace, and T. Chaudhury (1991). Curry discovered in his study that 60 – 80% of youth had improved functioning at the time of a follow-up compared to the onset of treatment. (Shapiro, 2003) In some controlled studies by Weisz it was discovered that treated adolescents where 76 – 81% better, behavior wise, than those not treated in residential treatment centers. (Shapiro, 2003)...
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