Frequently Asked Questions

Who and what is P.U.R.E.™?

P.U.R.E.™ is an organization that offers parents resources about residential therapy for pre-teens and teens. We educate parents about researching schools and programs online and learning more about the teen help industry. Since 2001 we’ve been assisting families in this big business of teen help and schools for troubled teens. When parents are most vulnerable, they are most at-risk at making rash decisions.


P.U.R.E.™ was founded by a parent who was duped online years ago while searching for a school for her daughter. During this time, there was a feeling of loss, desperation, and confusion.


With this, there is a need for a service such as P.U.R.E.™ to help parents know they are not alone. P.U.R.E.™ is here to help sort through the confusion during a desperate time as well as determine misinformation online about the troubled teen industry.


A simple online search for “schools for troubled teens” yields over 5 million results! Parents need guidance.

We help parents find safe and quality places to send troubled teens.

Why use P.U.R.E.™ Services?

Since 2001, P.U.R.E.™ has dedicated their service to locate licensed, accredited, and qualified programs and schools. We are constantly researching (including visiting programs personally) and taking the time to listen to parent and student feedback. Firsthand experience is a valuable tool for learning about programs and schools.


With the expansion of the internet, anyone can create a beautiful website for their school or program, but how do you know what reality is? Parent references can be the key to your search as well as being armed with solid questions for the program.


P.U.R.E.™ believes that being overwhelmed and confused can cause errors in the placement of your child. Being an educated parent can help you make an informed decision.


There are many websites that are dedicated to frightening parents. Many are created by former students that were placed in programs decades ago. We can help alleviate your fears without diminishing their experiences.


As a parent that had a child harmed in a program, and successfully won in a court of law substantiating the neglect and fraud, there are ways to decipher people’s opinions (maybe disgruntled parents) to actual events. We help educate you and help you find safe schools for troubled teens.


P.U.R.E.™ has been featured on Dr. Phil, Today Show, CNN, Anderson Cooper, The Mel Robbins Show, Rachael Ray Show, Katie Couric, CBS Nightly News, 20/20 ABC, CBS Early Show, Fox News, Lifetime, and many more.

How does P.U.R.E.™ work and what is its purpose?

P.U.R.E.™ will consider your needs. We want to give you qualified options to find the right help for your teen. We believe that residential therapy is usually the last resort.


Our purpose is to educate parents on an extremely confusing industry, especially as you enter it for the first time. When dealing with a troubled teen, parents usually will turn to the internet for resources and are quickly bombarded with tons of ads, sales reps, and confusing jargon stating they can save your teenager. Sorting through internet facts and fiction can be challenging.


Selecting a private boarding school for your child is a very important decision and we believe you should be armed with as much information as possible, so that is what we want to give you: reliable and factual information from firsthand experiences and research.


There are some teen behaviors that are unable to assist parents with.

What is the average cost of residential schools and programs?

The costs vary depending on which school or program you choose for your child. Qualified programs can start at about $10,000 per month. In some cases, your medical insurance may cover a portion of a therapeutic boarding school (TBS) or residential treatment center (RTC).

PPO insurance has been the most beneficial if your policy offers out-of-network benefits. Most schools/programs will run a verification of benefits (VOB) for you to determine your approximate coverage. If you have HMO, state (Medicaid), or TriCare, they typically will only allow you to stay in-network to have coverage. We suggest parents contact their providers directly for a list of in-network programs if they want to use their insurance.

IEPs have also been accepted at some programs as partial payment for the educational component.

If you have an adopted child through a foster-care system, you may want to check with your social worker. In many states they have financial resources available to you and a list of residential programs that they will cover. This is called — adopted assisted program (AAP).

Most military and traditional boarding schools start at $30,000 annually. Please note these are not for troubled teens.

The majority of TBS/RTC offer educational loans to assist families with tuition. They are very similar to college loans.

See our financial Options page.

Where are schools and programs located? Should we visit a school we are considering?

There are locations throughout the United States. We do encourage parents not to restrict the search to a limited geographical area. Finding the most appropriate fit for your child may require travel. We help you understand that it’s best not to select a program on geographic locations, but rather on your child’s emotional needs. This is only a short time out of their entire life – let’s make it what is in their best interest, not the convenience of your travels.

Keep in mind each state’s age of majority, the age at which your child has the ability to sign themselves out of a program. In some states, such as Florida, the age is 16. We can discuss other states with you.

Ideally, it is great to visit a school or program you are considering for your teen. Realistically, however, time or financial constraints prohibit families from touring a program prior to placing their teen.

We encourage you to speak with parent references and students who have graduated the program. We also suggest calling the local sheriff’s department to ask their opinion of the program and/or if there have been many incidents there. They can’t always share incident reports, but will sometimes give you an idea of their feelings regarding the program. You never know who answers the phone.

These are some ways to get a good pulse on a program, especially if you are unable to visit. If a program won’t give you parent references, this can be a red flag. Read more in on our research tips page.

My child has already been in therapy, how can residential programs help?

Most teens have already exhausted their weekly one-on-one sessions at home and have concluded that it didn’t help them. Why? In many cases, it is because they are still coming back to their home environment and peer group. When the teen is physically removed from their comfort zone, they will finally be able to open up completely to identify where this negative behavior is stemming from.


At home, it seems to be escalating in a vicious cycle, so it is time to get off that bus and get help. In a program that is about bringing the family back together, they should incorporate you all as your teen begins to heal.


Read: Why Therapeutic Boarding Schools Work.


Read: Why Therapeutic Boarding Schools are Effective.

Should I tell my teen we are looking at residential treatment? They are not willing to go.

So, your teen is not willing to go — and you’ve started reading some horror stories online about transport services. Stop!


First, in our opinion and over two decades of experience, you should never discuss your adult business with your teenager. Up to this point, your teenager has not proven to you they are mature enough to handle a decision of this magnitude.


You are about to make a decision to give them a second opportunity at a positive future. They are not in their right mind to understand that — yet.


Most teens are not willing to attend, and that is normal. This is why there are legitimate transport services that are licensed and insured to transport your teen safely.


The internet is full of deceptive information and horror stories of all kinds. When selecting a transport service be sure you get parent references and speak to people that have used their services as well as always asking for a copy of their credentials.


Read: Will My Teen Hate Me?

Will my teen be around kids that are worse than him/her?

Using a service like P.U.R.E.™, we can help you sort through some of the programs and which type(s) of students they accept. You want to be sure that you aren’t placing your teen out of their element.

Please review teens that are out of our scope, and that need more intensive care here.

There are many sales reps (aka placement specialists) out there ready to place your child simply to increase their numbers and/or collect a commission.

P.U.R.E.™, on the other hand, is about educating the parent to understand how to determine what is the best fit for each individual child and family, both emotionally and financially.

Our research tips helps you make the right decision for your individual needs.

Read: The Goal of Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens.

Are military schools for troubled teens? What about boot camps?

Absolutely not! Military schools are a privilege and an honor to attend. If you are threatening to send your teen to a military school, it is an empty threat. If you do happen to find a school that will accept him/her and they get expelled, there is a good chance that you will end up forfeiting your tuition.


Boot Camps are short-term programs with very limited (if any) success. In our opinion, we never recommend or suggest boot camps. Teens usually come home with more anger and resentment, commonly targeted at the person who placed them there.


Contrary to quality residential therapy, where programs build a child up, boot camps are usually punitive and primitive. This is not conducive to helping your teen gain the confidence to make better choices.

Are there free programs?

Yes. In most cases, you will have to provide documentation to prove to you qualify for free or sliding-scale programs. For more information, contact your local United Way services.

How is P.U.R.E.™ funded?

P.U.R.E.™ is funded by several schools and programs as well as private funding. Sue Scheff, founder of P.U.R.E., is a national public speaker, author, and spokesperson for ReputationDefender.


Our motto is: Bringing families back together…

How do we get started?

Call 954-260-0805 or fill out a contact form.

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Family consultants help parents find reputable residential schools and treatment programs for troubled teens when they have utilized all of their local resources and are overwhelmed by their online searches.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Many parents are at their wit’s end with the challenges of raising teenagers. If you are considering residential therapy, contact us for a free consultation.

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