Does the program empower a youth to guide their own recovery?

Being sent to an outdoor therapeutic or residential program can be a frightening experience even in the best of circumstances. Research shows that increasing the sense of control children and young adults have over their own treatment improves the odds of success.

The more control people feel they have, the safer they feel and the safer they feel, the easier it is for them to learn. Consequently, children and young adults need to be given meaningful choices and allowed to set goals for themselves. To make sure that youth voices are heard, many high quality programs have a peer to peer committee who can help with conflicts. Some of the best programs actively involve children and youth in their own recovery.

Other questions to ask:

  • What does the program do to help children and young adults set goals and guide their own recovery?
  • Is there a peer to peer group that children and young adults can speak with when they have concerns or questions?
  • Can parents visit the program in advance to learn what to expect?