Top 5 Best Boarding Schools For Troubled Teens You Should Know


Want to get the list of the top best boarding schools for troubled teens? Do you have a child who has a lot of behavioral issues? Are you concerned that he’s on the verge of making a decision that will have long-term consequences? Has your adolescent’s bad behavior hindered their capacity to succeed in a traditional school, as well as a job and at home?

If you answered yes, then this article is for you! In this article, we show you all you need to know about the best boarding schools for troubled teens and how to pick one that is right for your teen.

So continue reading!

The first step in turning a new leaf is to remove troubled teens from their existing environment of negativity, fear, anger, and harmful habits while minimizing distractions. This is why boarding schools are suggested for difficult teenagers, particularly therapeutic boarding schools.

Best Boarding Schools For Troubled Teens

What is a boarding school for troubled teens?

These are residential schools that provide a combination of Individualized counseling, social activities, and academics for troubled adolescents so that they can live in a regulated environment apart from their existing harmful behaviors, peers, and influences. They also tend to provide a variety of support services not typically provided in traditional schools.

These therapeutic boarding institutions are usually classified by gender, ensuring that both troubled males and troubled females receive the attention they require. Professional support is provided in these troubled teen boarding schools for teens to heal from trauma, learn how to deal with and overcome obstacles, and discover more about themselves.

 Academics and therapies are prioritized in these schools, while also providing a safe and controlled environment for troubled teenagers. Sports, leisure activities, clubs, and other extracurricular activities, on the other hand, are highly promoted. The combination of a new location, academic support, therapeutic sessions, group living, and recreational activities assists troubled and suffering adolescents in overcoming their obstacles, regaining control of their lives, and preparing for a bright future.

Within boarding schools, the usage of computers, video games, and the internet is strictly limited, forcing pupils with mental or behavioral issues to find alternative ways to spend their spare time. Many of the teens participate in sports, read books, play music, and engage in other outdoor activities.

These schools make a huge difference in the lives of countless teenagers. A troubled teen boarding school can assist your teen in regaining stability, confidence, and self-esteem. It may also rekindle their enthusiasm for life and education.

When should you send your troubled teenager to a boarding school?

Today’s teenagers confront a variety of obstacles from a variety of sources. Emotional, behavioral, and mental health concerns can cause teens to act out, affecting their ability to succeed in school, keep a job, and stay out of trouble. As a result, therapeutic boarding schools may be the best place to obtain expert care for troubled kids if any of these concerns are interfering with their healthy progression through their teenage years.

Depression, anxiety, bipolar, ADD/ADHD, ODD, substance addiction, abuse trauma, threatening behavior, adoption and abandonment concerns, obsessive thinking, and other issues are all widespread among teenagers and are usually dealt with in these schools.

Interestingly, many of these boarding schools also cater to teenagers with additional requirements, such as behavioral, developmental, learning, or physical problems. For instance, autism and dyslexia, to name a few.

 Hence, if you notice any of these signs in your teen, then you should consider sending your teen to a boarding school for troubled teens. This is because schools for struggling teens are the most equipped places to seek complete counseling and support. After all, they care for all aspects of a teen’s life.

What are the Types of Troubled Teen  Boarding Schools

Let’s look at the type of troubled teen boarding schools, they include;

1. Regular Boarding Schools:

For troubled adolescents or at-risk teenagers, boarding schools or residential programs may be precisely what the doctor recommended. They are also known as “therapeutic boarding schools” and can provide vital help and advice to people who are in desperate need.

In 2010, the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs did research on troubled programs in schools. The majority of teens who attend one of these institutions, according to the report, exhibit significant improvements in specific areas. A decrease in behavioral and emotional difficulties was particularly notable. The majority of adolescents also showed an improved ability to adopt a better view of life and sustain it long after they had graduated from high school.

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2. Military Schools

Military school is another form of boarding school for troubled teenagers. While military school isn’t for everyone, it can be an excellent fit for children who require a great deal of order and direction in their lives. Military schools can help troublesome teenagers and young adults improve their discipline, confidence, and self-esteem.

3. Teen Ranches

A teen ranch is another residential alternative for troubled teenagers. Throughout North America, there are various teen ranches and outdoor programs for troublesome teenagers. These programs provide a therapeutic, rural setting for teenagers who are dealing with a range of challenges. They can be a particularly good fit for those who enjoy being outside and have a strong bond with nature.

How Do You Choose the Right Boarding School for Your Troubled Teen? 

It’s not easy to decide where your child will learn. If you determine that boarding school is ideal for your troubled teen, you’ll need to figure out which boarding school is the best fit for them. This will necessitate taking into account the following crucial elements:

1. Price

Any family’s budget is usually concerned about costs. Tuition will vary, so the first step will be to figure out how much you can afford. The cost of boarding school tuition varies from $30,000 to $60,000 per year. There are hardly any free boarding schools for troubled teens. However, there may be “affordable” boarding schools available, as well as scholarships and financial aid.

In situations where a teenager has received medical treatment for certain disorders and behaviors, many insurance companies will cover some of the cost of a boarding school for struggling teens. Hence, any school to which you apply will be able to run your insurance to see what proportion of your policy is covered.

2. Programs and Curriculum

While most boarding schools include behavior modification therapy strategies in their programs, a closer examination may be necessary to genuinely assist your teen in gaining the skills they require for success. Rather than just teaching clients how to manage their symptoms, many of these facilities urge them to uncover the root of their problems and recover from the inside out through relationship-based programs.

A therapeutic boarding school provides the counseling, consistency, and care that troubled teenagers require, and it is a place where they can thrive.

3. Certification

Depending on the focus of their program, boarding schools for troubled teens are classified as either private schools or residential treatment centers. Each state has its own set of rules for these institutions, but they must all follow a set of guidelines. 

Any boarding school, for example, must have enough staff to maintain a good balance between students and teachers. The school’s physical condition must be kept in good repair and be secure. A sufficient supply of food, water, shelter, and medical care must be provided.

4. Geographical Location (Out-of-State Boarding School for Troubled Teens)

The operation of therapeutic boarding schools is regulated differently in each state. It is allowed in some locations for an adolescent to sign himself out of a residential treatment institution, including a school, and leave the campus without informing his or her parents. As a result, you must carefully assess which institution is appropriate for your teen and his circumstances.

As a result of these rules and your child’s unique demands, it may be better to allow your teen to attend a school out of state and limit visitation options. Video chats and regular communication are scheduled in such instances to allow you to speak with your teen.

Other factors to examine include the school’s religious affiliation, the dress code, the number of kids enrolled, the acceptance rate, and whether the school offers specific sports or extracurricular activities. You should make a list of any other issues that are significant to you.

Best Boarding Schools For Troubled Teens

Below are some reputable boarding schools for troubled teens :

1. Ozark Trails Academy

Address: Route 1 Box 169, Willow Springs, MO 65793, United States


Gender: Co-ed

Age: 12-17

Ozark Trails is a year-round program that welcomes new students (both domestic and international) into the academy. Acceptance is based on a combination of a study of the student’s present and history of behavior, and consultation with the student’s parents. Ozark Trails Academy’s program and tuition prices start at $6,000 a month. However, your medical insurance may be able to assist you in covering the expense of therapy.

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Children also receive an approved education as well as the necessary support services to complete high school and receive a diploma. The amazing environment at the institution allows troubled teenagers to entirely disconnect from the outer world’s vices.

2. Re-creation Retreat 

Address: 465 Main St, Fredonia, AZ 86022, United States


Gender: Female 

Age: 13-17

Re-Creation Retreat is a private therapeutic boarding school and residential treatment center for troubled girls. It is well-known for its dedication to providing specialized care to troubled young women and their worried families.

Re-Creation Retreat’s academic program is meant to help disturbed girls who need help with their grades and credit. They combine a therapeutic approach with an excellent academic program to assist young women in reclaiming their lives, both emotionally and academically.

Re-Creation Retreat gives a chance and ongoing training platform for participants to connect emotionally maturely and consistently with each other and their families back home. The principles learned at Re-Creation Retreat lead to a new degree of accountability and responsibility, as well as a sense of self-worth and value.

Some of the issues treated at this center include sleeping and eating disorders, cutting or self-harm, substance abuse, etc.

3. Gateway Boys Academy 

Address:1213 Hope Ln, Bonifay, FL 32425, United States


Gender: Male

Age: 12-17

 Gateway Boys Academy is a program that assists adolescent boys who have gotten off track in life and requires discipline and a renewed respect for authority. Gateway has a military-style curriculum without the pointless marching drills or yelling drill sergeants.

Gateway includes all of the elements of a military school that have the greatest long-term impact on boys in the shortest amount of time, all of which are delivered by caring mentors and leaders who encourage them to succeed.

The academy offers an accredited school, working ranch and farm, counseling and mentoring, a spiritual emphasis, community outreach, and missions trips to third-world countries, all with military-like discipline and decorum. It all comes together to help young guys become everything they may be and more.

Athletic participation is greatly encouraged at Gateway. Sports develop teamwork and camaraderie in their participants. Therefore, their military school emphasizes the importance of learning how to collaborate with others.

4. Kansas City Girls Academy 

Address: 5506 Cambridge Ave, Kansas City, MO 64129, United States


Gender: Female 

Age: 12-17

The Kansas City Girls Academy is a program for girls who are having academic or emotional difficulties. It is intended to assist females in recognizing bad habits and developing the inner strength to tackle life’s problems. Positive coping strategies and effective communication skills are learned in this school. 

This residential school offers a faith-based therapy program for troubled adolescent girls aged 12 to 17. They provide counseling and therapy to troubled girls to help them reclaim their spiritual, behavioral, and academic lives.

Students are assisted in uncovering their faulty assumptions and replacing them with new notions. This is achieved through the use of the discipleship curriculum and ongoing pastoral counseling related to the curriculum topic.

5. Treasure Coast Boys Academy 

Address: 801 154th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32966, United States


Gender: Male

Age: 14-17

Treasure Coast Boys Academy is a residential boarding school with a therapy program for boys who are troubled or at-risk. It has a lot of activity and excitement, as well as a certified private school on-site. It’s a refuge for males aged 14 to 17 who have out-of-control habits.

Boys who are battling with behavioral and motivational challenges such as decreasing grades, school suspension, rage, defiance, depression, attention deficit disorder, or attachment disorders can benefit from the non-profit program.They’re also effective at treating drug and alcohol abuse and addictions, which are frequently linked to behavioral difficulties.

The Treasure Coast Boys Academy faculty works with each teenager with their family’s collaboration and participation, bringing a wealth of experience to the table. The therapeutic team assists each boy in repairing the important triggers in his life that have led to poor decisions and self-destructive attitudes and behaviors.

The Role of Boarding Schools

Creating a Structured Environment

Boarding schools for troubled teens offer a structured and controlled environment that is conducive to positive behavioral changes. Through consistent routines, clear rules, and well-defined boundaries, these schools create a sense of stability that troubled teens may be lacking in their lives.

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Individualized Support and Therapy

One of the key advantages of boarding schools is the availability of individualized support and therapy. Experienced counselors and therapists work closely with each student to identify underlying issues and develop personalized treatment plans. This approach addresses not only the symptoms but also the root causes of the problems.

Academic Focus

Many boarding schools for troubled teens incorporate academic programs alongside therapeutic interventions. This dual focus ensures that students receive the necessary educational support while working on their personal growth. Smaller class sizes and dedicated teachers enable a more personalized learning experience.

Benefits of Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens

Holistic Approach to Growth

Boarding schools take a holistic approach, addressing emotional, behavioral, and academic needs simultaneously. This comprehensive method helps teens develop essential life skills and coping mechanisms that prepare them for a successful future.

Peer Support and Connection

Teens in these schools often find solace in knowing that they are not alone in their struggles. The sense of community among peers who are facing similar challenges fosters understanding, empathy, and a support network that can extend beyond the school years.

Safe and Supervised Environment

Boarding schools provide a safe haven where troubled teens are under supervision around the clock. This controlled environment minimizes negative influences and ensures that students remain focused on their personal development.

Challenges Faced by Troubled Teens

Behavioral Issues: Many troubled teens exhibit challenging behaviors such as defiance, anger outbursts, and recklessness. These behaviors can strain relationships with family, friends, and teachers.

Academic Struggles: Some troubled teens face difficulties in traditional school settings, leading to poor grades and a lack of motivation to excel academically.

Emotional Distress: Adolescence can be an emotionally turbulent phase. Troubled teens often battle with feelings of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and even suicidal thoughts.

Criticism and Controversies

Critics’ Concerns

Critics of boarding schools for troubled teens raise concerns about potential abuse, neglect, and the lack of standardized regulations across the industry. It’s essential for parents to thoroughly research and select reputable institutions that prioritize the well-being of their students.

FAQs About Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens

1. Are boarding schools only for teens with severe issues? Boarding schools cater to a range of challenges, from mild to severe. They provide tailored support for various needs.

2. How do I choose the right boarding school for my troubled teen? Research extensively, visit campuses, and consider factors like accreditation, staff qualifications, and the school’s therapeutic approach.

3. Can troubled teens maintain contact with their families? Yes, most boarding schools encourage family involvement through counseling sessions and family weekends.

4. Are boarding schools more effective than traditional therapy for troubled teens? Boarding schools offer a comprehensive approach that combines therapy with academic support, often yielding effective results.

5. What happens to troubled teens after they graduate from boarding school? Many graduates continue their education, pursue careers, and lead successful, productive lives thanks to the skills gained during their time at the boarding school.


Conclusively, if you have a difficult teen, enrolling them in a boarding school for troubled teens is certainly not a wrong move. Thus, we hope we have assisted you in selecting the right boarding school for your troubled teen. 


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