Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The decision by parents to place their troubled teen in a residential treatment program is a difficult one - but one that can now be more informed. While no standard definition or federal regulations exist for such programs, this list of 15 questions compiled by the FTC will help parents compare diverse programs across industry-accepted standards and practices, and to ferret out fraudulent and deceptive claims about staff credentials, levels of treatment, program accreditation, educational credits, success rates and endorsements by educational consultants.
The FTC also urges parents to ask for proof or support for claims about staff credentials, program accreditation and endorsements; visit the site; and get all policies and promises in writing. Free online. (877) 382-4357, http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/pro27.shtm.