Dealing With Placement and Inpatient Treatment

Placement in a treatment program can be a very difficult transition for children and parents. When behaviors overwhelm or a child’s mental health is too extreme to handle safely at home, it may be time to transition to placement in inpatient treatment. There is a lot to consider when a family is discussing the placement of their child, but ultimately, placement should be for the well-being of the child to help them heal and develop strategies for a brighter future.

Inpatient Treatment Is Nothing to Be Ashamed Of

Many families struggle with the decision to pursue inpatient treatment or placement for their children. There are a lot of emotional, financial, and practical decisions around the feasibility of this choice that need to be considered. The biggest factor should be the child’s need for inpatient treatment. This decision is not one to be taken lightly and should be in the best interest of the child involved. Oftentimes when a family gets to the point where they must consider inpatient placement for their child, there is considerable need for that child as they could be a danger to themselves or others. This can be taxing, traumatic, and heartbreaking for families.

Some families try to avoid placement or inpatient treatments due to shame or stigma. Though it’s difficult to go through, a family should not feel ashamed for placing their child in an inpatient treatment facility. Do not allow shame or stigma to hinder your child’s growth or protection, as sometimes inpatient treatment is the only option left. There is no shame in making a tough decision for the well-being of your child or family.

That’s Not To Say Its Not Hard

Though there is no shame in a family concluding that placement is the best solution for the child, that’s not to say the process isn’t difficult. The child will likely not agree to inpatient treatment and could be angry, hurt, confused, scared, or carry the weight of that lack of autonomy. They may also feel abandoned or worried. Children with attachment issues and trauma might display behaviors that would break any parent’s heart to avoid treatment in many cases.

For this reason, families should vet the treatment facility their child is going to carefully and come up with a safety plan with the staff, as well as discuss the potential options available for their child to help them through the traumatic experience of placement and the issues that have led to placement. Talk with facility managers and get a feel for the environment your child will be healing in. If you don’t feel it’s a space you’d feel safe or heal in, it may not be for your child either. It’s important to find a place with a wide range of therapies, activities, and different avenues for success that can play to your child’s strengths. Another important factor to consider with children is schooling. Will your child fall behind, or will the facility be able to keep your child caught up? Facilities that offer educational options may be best for your child.

Don’t Worry, It’s Not All Bad

Researchers at BMC Psychology studied inpatient treatment’s effects on families extensively, especially in the case of children’s placement. What they found is that inpatient treatment does have positive effects on parent-child behavior, as well as mental health. It’s overwhelmingly recommended that when trauma and drama get so bad parents are considering treatment, it is more beneficial to follow through with treatment than ignore the negative effects due to stigma. This is for several reasons:

  • Children receive the treatment they need. Some kids are so traumatized or have such significant mental health issues that inpatient treatment is the only option to help them stay safe and heal.
  • Parents receive training. No parent is perfect, and there is no shame in taking parenting classes and training for better parenting approaches tailored to help your child. Oftentimes facilities can connect parents with a therapist, parent-coach, or another system that can help parents develop parenting skills to help their child.
  • Families can participate in family therapy. Family therapy is a great way to allow families to open lines of communication, set boundaries, and foster empathy and understanding with each other. Having a family therapist there to guide the conversation and challenge unproductive habits or thought processes can help families grow together.
  • Families get some rest and can recuperate. Cycles of mental health trauma and family issues are tough to go through. Placement in an inpatient facility gives families room to breathe, grieve, and heal in positive ways until reunification.

Placement in an inpatient facility can feel scary, shameful, and cause a great deal of anxiety for both parents and children in these tough situations. At Havenwood Academy, we aim to make the transition as smooth as we can, and we’ll work with families to make every step until reunification as smooth as possible. Our professional and experienced staff want to help your teen daughter through her trauma and attachment issues. We also want to help your family feel like a family again as we guide your daughter to healthier and stronger bonds with you. We offer family therapy, as well as an individually-tailored treatment program for your daughter to grow, heal, and thrive at our Utah facility. We can even help your daughter continue or catch up in school so she doesn’t fall behind when she returns home. Call Havenwood Academy today at (435) 586-2500 to find out how we can help your family.


Think Havenwood Might Be For You?

We encourage any visitors considering placing their daughter in treatment to fill out our online assessment as soon as possible. This two minute form will give our admissions team all the information needed to determine if your daughter is a good fit for our program.