Can you afford “NOT” to get help for your teen?

The following are real statements and have been sent to us from parents we have worked with in the past. Each scenario is difficult to put a value on as each person’s situations and income are different. This is not intended to scare anyone but simply allow each parent to consider all of the possible problems they may encounter if they leave their child unchecked.

Loss of employment

As extreme as it may sound we have had many parents relay to us that they have actually lost their job as a result of having to miss work to follow up on their out of control child. The amount this translates to in your life will be unique to you. Have you had to miss work recently because of a problem child?

Cost of court ordered treatment

Some states will charge a parent if a teen is put in the juvenile system. Whether it is a court mandated boot camp or your local detention center fees for this can add up in a hurry. State-ran court ordered boot camps average $93 a day per youth. The cost can run as high as $120 a day to as low as $66 a day. Some parents call us asking if their child is court ordered to a facility if the state will pay the costs. The answer is no. The parent will typically pay for placement in most juvenile system programs.

Court costs and fines

In many states when a child is sentenced he or she might be given community service hours and sometimes even a fine. The responsibility falls on the parents to assure that the service will be rendered and the fines paid. By this point most parents usually have little or no control over their delinquent child. The court, in some cases, will hold the parents liable for the fines and the community service.

Destruction of property

We hear stories on a continual basis of teens or pre-teens that have stolen the family car and driven into someone else’s property. Even worse is the same scenario but the teen steals someone’s car other than family. We have even heard of children being seriously injured while riding with an illegal driver. The parent of the child driving the car If the insurance were to pay, the rates on the insurance policy will increase to unbearable amounts. Many insurance companies will disallow these types of claims as the driver is not on the policy.

Attorney fees

With many of the problems bringing legal actions parents will need to hire an attorney to help them through the legal ramifications brought as a result of their disobedient child. Attorney fees range from state to state but are usually substantial and too expensive for some parents.

Teen employment

A teen with a criminal record will have a difficult time finding a job. Most employers will have questions on their application about the honesty of the teen and sometimes have a drug test associated with employment opportunities.It will be difficult for a teen with a criminal record or substance abuse to earn the money needed to pay for fines or damages they have caused. This will again place financial responsibility on their parents.

Parents are sued

A child that is unruly can devastate their parents and even bring them into a law suit. If a child gets in a fight at school he can be charged with assault. He can be expelled from school and the parent of the student assaulted can file a law suit against the parent’s of the defiant teen. The cost of this scenario can be very expensive as the parent will have attorney fees, court costs, and what ever financial sum the court deems appropriate to award the complainant.

Kick them out?

Parents have told us that they are not able to force their children out of the home. Even if the child refuses to obey family rules the parent must continue to provide for the child. Some parents who have asked their children to leave were surprised to find that they still had to pay for damages the teen caused.

Your child could become a parent

Another life altering result from an out of control child is the possibility that the child themselves could become a mother or a father. This of course creates a multitude of new problems. Should they keep the child? Who will pay for the child? Will the teens marry? Where will they live? In most cases the teen’s parent will have to take care of the new baby resulting in more expenses.

Consider more than cost

The price for leaving a child to continue on their current negative path is much more than monetary. A child left to continue on a path of substance abuse will undoubtedly end up somewhere down the road in a treatment center having suffered much pain, loss of self worth, and disassociation with loved ones. An obvious tragedy is an overdose and the loss of your loved one’s life. One parent scheduled to send his child back to a structured boarding situation was horrified to find his son dead from an overdose. If you could see into the future you would know exactly how much pain, anguish, and money your out of control child would cost you. The sad part is we can not see into the future. If you take any of the scenarios we have mentioned and estimate the cost, the price of a safe boarding situation for your child is a bargain.