If your child is more than you can handle or she's in danger of entering the juvenile justice system, a camp for troubled teens provides the extra help that both of you may need. Families in Alabama will find a variety of options across the state that help teens with behavioral and emotional issues, as well as those who are already in trouble with the law.
Coping With the Considerations
Before choosing a camp for your troubled teen in Alabama, factor in what your child's specific needs are and what you expect your family to get out of the experience. Teens who are already in the juvenile justice system may have no, or little, choice when it comes to a camp program. The Juvenile Court or Department of Youth Services may mandate a camp stay in a secure or semi-secure facility. Additionally, your teen may require specialized services that the camp needs to provide -- such as counseling or assessments -- for success.
If your troubled teen is at a serious risk for entering Alabama's juvenile justice system, or has already had a run-in with the law, choosing a specialized camp for adolescent offenders is one way of providing treatment. The Camp Robert E. Lewis Residential Treatment Academy offers counseling, education, equine therapy and team-building in a residential environment. This camp serves boys ages 14 through 18 who have a history of delinquent behavior and are at risk of repeat offenses.
Teen girls who are acting out, having serious behavioral problems or are in trouble with the law may benefit from a single-sex camp environment. With the distractions that the other gender offers, troubled teen girls can concentrate on addressing their problems and healing themselves. The Lee County Youth Development Center's Voyages program is a treatment and support option for girls ages 12 through 18. The Department of Youth Services refers teens to this program, for a maximum 60-day stay. Likewise, the Behavior, Education, Attitude, Motivation and Success -- or B.E.A.M.S. -- program is a female-only residential service that addresses the issues of troubled teen girls through intensive treatment.
The Great Outdoors
Getting back to nature through an outdoor camp environment or a wilderness adventure program can help troubled teens to reduce stress and master challenges, according to CRC Health Group. If you're looking for a way to challenge your troubled teen and help him build self-confidence, the Alabama Outward Bound School offers opportunities through their Impact program. This 12-day camp features 9 days in the wilderness along with 3 days for home and school transition planning. Outward Bound notes that teens who have impulsive behaviors, low self-esteem, repeated truancy, little motivation, defiance and poor decision-making skills may benefit from this program. If you're looking for an outdoors program that is less adventure-oriented, the Pinnacle School's Elk River Treatment Program offers both long- and short-term solutions in a natural environment.