10 Best Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens | 

There are tons of boarding schools for troubled teens all over the World. While some parents and teenagers are yet to understand the need for therapeutic schools, others are overwhelmed with the challenges of letting their teens go or finding the best schools.

At boarding schools for troubled teens, qualified therapists and professional counselors attentively watch and care for teenagers. 

The personnel in these programs assist your teen in healing, maturing, and developing into a content and competent adult, just as you are. Therapistsmanagers, instructors, counselors, activity directors, security personnel, physicians, and other professionals make up the regular staff.

Each program will be different, as will the personnel, their leniency, and the level of student oversight. As you interview possible programs, keep this in mind.

Who is a Troubled Teen?

A troubled teenager is a young person experiencing issues leading to harmful behaviors. If these issues persist, the teen will not grow into a contented, successful adult.

These concerns go beyond those that all teenagers often deal with, or they might be unable to handle such issues.

The teen’s surroundings, such as abusive relationships, subpar peer groups, risky areas, and physical and mental health problems, can all be factors.

While you’re here, see: 21 Best Boarding Schools for Girls in the World

What are the Signs of a Troubled Teen?

These warning signals can all appear in teens at different periods; however, you’ll spot a troubled teenager if there are over six of them persisting over an extended length of time. Common red flags and behaviors to watch out for in troubled teenagers include:

  • Being secretive involves hiding insignificant details and responding slowly or not at all.
  •  Stealing
  •  Rudeness, disobedience, rebellion, and aggression against parents, relatives, teachers, as well as other adults or figures of authority are all examples of defiance.
  •  Low self-esteem manifests as an excessive apology, continual reassurance-seeking, and comparison to others.
  •  Increased use of inappropriate language: Using profanity to blend in with friends.
  •  Lack of grooming, getting dressed, taking care of everyday hygiene, or poor look.
  •  Having excessive body image concerns and gaining weight.
  •  Irrational mood swings and explosive temper
  •  Lying repeatedly to escape punishment for misconduct
  •  Disobedience, revolt, and secrecy
  •  Chronic usage of cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol
  •  Persistent melancholy, pessimism, and interest loss
  •  Dropped grades and truancy
  •  Finding comedy in the suffering or sorrow of others
  •  Abrupt changes among friends
  •  Suicidal ideas or behaviors
  •  Self-harm, such as skin-cutting
  •  Escaping from home

What Causes Troubles in Teens?

Causes can result from various factors, from unstable households or violent family connections to mental health conditions like ADD or severe depression.

There are more stressors and pressures at a younger age since it appears as each succeeding generation must mature faster than the previous one. Problems are more likely to arise when no one teaches young people how to lead healthy lives at home.

What Can I Do to Help a Troubled Teen?

Making a few adjustments at home may help control the issues if you catch them early, while behavioral changes are still modest.

This can entail keeping an eye on your teen’s whereabouts, making transparent yet fair rules, and implementing penalties for misbehaving.

Your teen could make better decisions if you use consistent, challenging, and fair disciplining techniques. Also, consider sending the teen to one of the troubled boarding schools for teens.

Further in this article, we will list some of the best boarding schools for teens you can choose from.

What is a Boarding School for Troubled Teens?

To provide children with a disciplined environment and a haven away from their existing problematic habits, friends, and influences, boarding schools for troubled youth mix specialized counseling, social activities, and academics.

These rehabilitative boarding schools frequently include gendered divisions. This is so that problematic boys and troubled girls may separately receive the necessary assistance.

Teens can receive expert assistance at these troubled adolescent boarding schools to recover from trauma, acquire coping mechanisms for dealing with challenges, and learn more about themselves.

Teenagers generally live in group homes that mimic dorms, where each resident is expected to help with various duties. In these institutions, academic and therapeutic pursuits make up a large portion of the day for troublesome youths and have a high priority.

However, emphasis is also placed on extracurricular sports, enjoyable pastimes, clubs, and other activities.

Troubled and struggling youth may overcome obstacles, get back on the right track, and prepare for a bright future with a new setting, educational support, counseling sessions, group living, and recreational activities.

Should I Send My Troubled Teen to a Boarding School?

As they age, teenagers and young people face difficulties such as problems with anxiety and depression, fighting and bullying, drug addiction, and alcohol abuse. These issues are widespread among their peers and, if ignored, might cause a considerable deal of emotional distress.

However, some parents may need help dealing with these issues regularly.

Because of this, most parents believe enrolling their kids in boarding schools for troubled teens is necessary to help teenagers and young adults.

Therapeutic boarding schools strive for academic achievement for their students by offering theoretical and learning methodologies that support these children in various educational settings.

Because your teenager is in a structured educational environment where they also get the opportunity to therapy programs, therapeutic boarding schools for disturbed teenagers can be successful.

Also, there are frequently fewer students per instructor, and the teen’s skills and limitations receive greater attention.

Why You Should Send Your Troubled Child to Boarding Schools For Troubled Teens

It can be challenging to send your child to a therapeutic boarding school as a parent. However these schools have many benefits, but we’ll keep it brief with just a few of the highlights listed below:

  • Therapeutic boarding schools provide individualized course curricula and therapy programs.
  •  Therapeutic boarding schools provide programs that assist students in changing negative behaviors and learning new coping mechanisms.
  •  Academics and therapeutic sessions are combined.
  •  They also offer constant supervision and a typical daily schedule of activities.

Best Boarding Schools For Troubled Teens

We have compiled a list of the best schools for you now that you are aware of the significance of these boarding schools. At one of these therapeutic boarding schools, your kid will develop academic brilliance in a structured environment. While at that, they will obtain psychological and emotional stability.

Here are the best boarding schools for troubled teens in 2023:

  1. Gateway Freedom Ranch
  2. The Ranch for Boys
  3. Columbus Girls Academy
  4. Masters Ranch
  5. Agape Boarding School
  6. Heartland Boys Academy
  7. Vision Boys Academy
  8. Brush Creek Academy
  9. Canyon State Academy
  10. Whetstone Boys Ranch

1. Gateway Freedom Ranch 

Among the top therapeutic boarding schools for girls in Montana, USA, is Gateway Freedom Ranch, an approved Christian institution. It emphasizes positive emotions and actions for girls ages 9 to 13 who battle with rebellion, relationships, rage, or sadness.

It is a therapeutic boarding institution for girls where students acquire self-discipline and a focused attitude to life that can help them establish more robust relationships, strong Christian values, and crucial life skills and principles.

On the other hand, the school’s campus is aesthetically pleasing and was created to resemble a house. Gateway Therapeutic Boarding School for Girls is among the few institutions that can handle the issue of teenage girls’ difficulties.

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2. The Ranch for Boys

The Ranch for Boys is a humanitarian, residential boarding school for boys who demonstrate questionable behavior.

This is one of the top cheap boarding schools in the nation for troubled kids and young adults, and it’s close to Loranger, Louisiana.

Teenagers and young adults with behavioral issues can focus on academic and emotional recovery in the school’s safe, encouraging, and caring environment.

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3. Columbus Girls Academy

Columbus Girls Academy is a year-round therapeutic boarding school alternative in Alabama, the United States, that specializes in helping girls ages 12 to 17 who are having issues with rebellion, lack of social skills, poor academic achievement, respect for authority, or who are self-destructing or engaging in risky behavior.

Also, this academy is one of the less expensive boarding institutions for girls. It is a formalized residential Christian school for problematic teenage females who are mostly adopted or have developed emotional, behavioral, or relational problems in their adolescent years.

Their yearly tuition costs vary from $13,145 to $25,730, and they offer financial assistance.

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Also, see: 10 Best Boarding Schools in Atlanta For Boys & Girls | 2022 Rankings

4. Masters Ranch

Boys attend a rehabilitative residential school called Masters Ranch.

One of the more affordable boarding schools for troubled children and teenagers is Masters Ranch, which is close to San Antonio, Texas.

This therapeutic and reasonably priced Christian boarding school is open to teenagers between the ages of 9 and 17 who are struggling with mental or psychological disorders.

They manage a Christian-based therapeutic boarding school. They focus much on boys developing strong moral character, personal responsibility, and spiritual life, all of which help them deal with problems that influence their lives.

The institution assists disturbed youths through its four pillars—spiritual, academic, physical, and social. Their monthly tuition is $250. Additionally, they assist in paying for the licensed therapy based on need.

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5. Agape Boarding School

The Agape Boarding School ranks as one of the finest free boarding schools for troubled teens and children aged 9 to 17 in the country. It emphasizes explicitly supporting each of its students in thriving academically.

United State Agape Boarding School in Missouri is committed to fostering more remarkable behavioral, spiritual, and intellectual development.

It is a nonprofit organization that primarily offers free education to problematic teenagers and young adults. All students have access to grant money, dispersed fairly to preserve the school’s tuition-free status. Most of these revenues come from donations.

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6. Heartland Boys Academy

One of the best rehabilitative boarding schools for boys is Heartland Boys Academy, which is situated in Western Kentucky, United States.

It is a structured, Christian-based program with a supportive learning environment for males between the ages of 12 and 17 with a qualified staff devoted to helping young men acquire the skills they need for success.

Additionally, their curriculum combines academic, spiritual, and personal growth courses. This includes activities that help students develop their professional skills, participate in sports, and complete community service learning projects.

To ensure that the boys receive superior levels of education, these programs are designed expressly to help disturbed kids and teens who are coping with significant life issues or expulsion from conventional schools.

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7. Vision Boys Academy

The Vision Boys Academy is among our list of therapeutic boarding schools for struggling children and teenagers.

Vision Boys Academy is a Christian boarding school that helps troubled teenage boys from ages 8- 12 years, who deal with mental health issues, attention issues, rebellion, disobedience, and other issues.

Located in Missouri’s Sarcoxie, the school focuses on establishing excellent communication between these troubled teenage boys and their parents while shielding them from the negative consequences of internet addiction and destructive relationships.

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8. Brush Creek Academy

Brush Creek Academy is one of the top therapeutic boarding schools in Oklahoma, USA. It is intended for males between 14 and 17 battling life-controlling issues,, including rebellion, rage, substance abuse, alcoholism, or a lack of self-discipline.

The school provides a well-structured curriculum with special tools and resources to promote the academic, interpersonal, and spiritual growth of troubled adolescents and their families.

These boys receive assistance from Brush Creek Academy to begin living a satisfying life and are given the tools they need to grow up to be content, self-assured, independent, and successful men. The $3100 tuition is paid in full at the time of enrollment.

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9. Canyon State Academy

One of the therapeutic boarding schools for boys in the United States is Canyon State Academy, situated near Queen Creek, Arizona.

It was constructed with a single, overarching goal: to continuously assist children and teenagers between the ages of 11 and 17 who meet specific criteria in growing self-esteem and respect.

In addition, the therapeutic boarding school for males operated by Canyon State Academy provides activities that support public safety while encouraging students to have a typical high school experience.

Being one of the top therapeutic boarding schools for boys results from their dedication and accomplishments. 

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See Also: 10 Best Performing Arts Boarding Schools In USA | 2022

10. Whetstone Boys Ranch

A therapeutic boarding school for boys ages 13 to 17 are called Whetstone Boys Ranch, situated near West Plains, Missouri, in the United States. For 11–13 months, they provide this curriculum.

Activities offered by The Whetstone target issues with younger boys who struggle with behaviors including rebellion, rage, despair, disobedience, and lethargy.

In addition to daily outdoor activities, agricultural labor, Bible study, spiritual mentorship, and community involvement, they have kept the ambiance cozy and homey.

Open enrollment is available at Whetstone Boys Ranch, which uses an online A.C.E. high school curriculum and provides on-campus tutoring as necessary.

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FAQs – Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens

Is boarding school good for ADHD?

Not everyone feels comfortable in a typical classroom atmosphere, and that’s good! The more accommodating and diversified academic atmosphere of boarding school is typically ideal for students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

What is considered a troubled student?

A troublesome teen has severe behavioral issues, mental health problems that interfere with functioning, substance abuse, learning challenges, and issues integrating into society.

What are the signs of a troubled child?

Low self-esteem
 Increased use of inappropriate language
 Lack of grooming and everyday hygiene, or poor look.
 Having excessive body image concerns and gaining weight.
 Irrational mood swings and explosive temper
 Lying repeatedly to escape punishment for misconduct
 Disobedience, revolt, and secrecy
 Chronic usage of cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol
 Persistent melancholy, pessimism, and interest loss
 Dropped grades and truancy
 Finding comedy in the suffering or sorrow of others
 Abrupt changes among friends
 Suicidal ideas or behaviors
 Self-harm, such as skin-cutting
 Escaping from home


It’s critical for parents to actively seek therapy when a disturbed adolescent has grown too out of control for regular discipline and everyday activities. Teenagers with behavioral problems and physical conditions like ADHD have various treatment choices available. A comprehensive therapeutic boarding school should not be viewed as a last choice but rather as a chance to improve a teen’s life and assure future success. 

Lastly, before choosing any boarding school, a parent ensures to do thorough research and choose one with a good review and a low budget. 


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