If you have a troubled teenager and have low income, we’ve listed below the affordable boarding schools and free programs that you may want to contact.
Last Updated: April 2021
IMPORTANT! If you are interested in one of these programs, please contact them directly as this website has no affiliation with them. Others have shared them with us, but we do not vouch for them nor endorse them, nor do we have any more information about them than is included here. Be sure to check them out carefully, including any news stories about them.
ALLEGANY BOYS CAMP (Boys Ages 9-15) (WEB: www.alleganyboyscamp.org) Ph:
BAPTIST CHILDREN’S HOME of NORTH CAROLINA *North Carolina Residents Only (WEB: bchfamily.org/help/residential_care/) (Co-ed, Ages Vary by Location)
BETHANY’S HOUSE (Age 18+) Christian ministry for pregnant women, age 18 and over, providing a free residential program. For more information call 1-800-454-0454 or 209-526-3342. (WEB: www.bethany.org)
BLOUNT YOUTH HOME (Boys Ages 10-18) WEB: blountyouthhome.com Ph: (912)537-7758
BOYS TOWN (Co-Ed Age Range Varies by Location) WEB: www.boystown.org Ph: (800)448-3000
CHEROKEE HOME FOR CHILDREN * Texas residents only (Co-ed ages 2-18) (WEB: www.chc4kids.org)
CONNIE MAXWELL CHILDREN’S HOME (Co-ed Ages 5-16) *South Carolina Residents Only (WEB: www.conniemaxwell.com)
COOKSON HILLS CHRISTIAN HOME (WEB: cooksonhills.org) Co-ed Ages 5-17
EDGEWOOD RANCH *Florida Residents Only (WEB: edgewoodranch.com) (Co-ed Ages 7-17)
FAITH RANCH (Uvalde, Texas) Phone 210-232-6611
FAIR PLAY CAMP (South Carolina & Surrounding States) (Boys, Ages 8-15) Phone 864-647-4311 (WEB: www.fairplaycamp.org)
FAMILY FIRST PROGRAM OF HEALTHY FOUNDATIONS (Co-ed, All Ages – BOISE, ID) (WEB: www.healthyfoundations.co) Phone (208) 860-7828
NOT RESIDENTIAL — Program provides online training for parents monthly in an effort to regain a peaceful environment at home. This is not a residential program but an avenue to help parents avoid the need for therapeutic program placement.
FRENCH CAMP ACADEMY (French Camp, MS) (WEB: www.frenchcamp.org) Ph: (662) 547-6482
FLYING H YOUTH RANCH (Naches, WA) (WEB: www.flyingh.org) Ph: (509) 658-2990
HAPPY HILL FARM (Granbury, TX) (WEB: www.happyhillfarm.org) Ph: (254) 897-4822
HEARTLAND CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (Bethel, Missouri ) (WEB: hcaboardingschool.org) Has 225 students enrolled in grades K4-12. Address: 101 Nations Blvd., Bethel, MO 63434 Ph: (660) 284-6300
HOPE HARBOR (three locations in Minnesota & South Dakota). (WEB: www.hopeharbormn.org). Ages 12-17, Boys and Girls. Ph: (507) 537-4525
HOPE HOUSE A HOME TO COME (Co-ed Ages 6-18) (WEB: ahome2come2.com) Ph: (208) 896-4673
MASONIC-EASTERN STAR HOME FOR CHILDREN (Ages 5-18) (WEB: www.meshc.org)
MARVELOUS GRACE ACADEMY (Girls ages 7-17) (WEB: www.mgga.us)
MICHIGAN BOOT CAMP (weekend only) Mid-Course Correction (WEB: www.midcoursecorrection.org) Ph: 810-227-0243
MIRACLE FARM (Web: www.miraclefarm.org) Ph: 979-836-0901
MOUNTAIN STATES CHILDREN’S HOME (Co-ed, ages 11-18) (WEB: www.msch.org)
OBLONG CHILDREN’S HOME (Co-ed Ages 5-17) (WEB: oblongchristianhome.org)
OKLAHOMA BAPTIST HOMES FOR CHILDREN (Co-ed, ages 6-17) (WEB: www.obhc.org/bch-okc)
PILGRIM’S REST ACADEMY (Ages 7-12) Ph: (270) 276-5152
PINE HAVEN SCHOOL (WEB: www.pinehaven.net)
RODEHEAVER BOYS RANCH (Palatka, FL) For boys who, because of parental death, desertion, divorce, disability or dysfunctional home situation, have no home of their own.. Phone: (386) 328-1281 (WEB: www.rbr.org)
SHENANDOAH BAPTIST ACADEMY (Cleveland, TN) Phone: (423) 339-0103 (WEB: sbcministries.com/sba) This is an extraordinary school with incredible teachers, a challenging curriculum, outstanding athletics and exciting missions opportunities.
SHERIDAN HOUSE FAMILY MINISTRIES *Florida residents only (WEB: sheridanhouse.org/web/ (All Boys, Ages 11-17)
SHILOH CHRISTIAN CHILDREN’S HOME (WEB: www.shilohranch.org) (Co-ed Ages 5-15)
TEXAS BAPTIST CHILDREN’S HOMES (Round Rock, Texas) (WEB: childrenatheartministries.org) Ph: (512) 255-3682
TULSA BOYS HOME (Boys Ages 11-18) (WEB: www.tulsaboyshome.org) Ph: (918) 245-0231
VICTORY HOUSE (Girls Ages 16-18) (WEB: victoryhouse.ws)
WATERSPRINGS RANCH (Co-ed Birth to 12 years) (WEB: www.waterspringsranch.org) Ph: 870-772-7187
WEST TEXAS BOYS RANCH (WEB: www.wtbr.org) Ph: (325) 949-1936
WESTVIEW BOYS HOME (Boys Ages 12-18) (WEB: westviewboyshome.com) Ph: (405) 607-0893
WILL LOU GRAY OPPORTUNITY SCHOOL (West Columbia, SC) (WEB: www.willougray.org) Ph: (803) 896-6480
YOUTH-REACH (Houston, Texas, and Louisiana) (WEB: www.youth-reach.org) Ph: (281) 459-4555
JOB CORPS (Free – NATIONWIDE) Job Corps is a free education and vocational skills training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job. For eligible youth at least 16 years of age, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed to succeed in a career and in life. If you are interested in placing your teen in a Job Corp program in your area, call (800) 733-JOBS or (800) 733-5627. An operator will provide you with information about Job Corps, place you in touch with the admissions counselor closest to where you live, and mail you an information packet about the Job Corp program.
FREE DRUG PROGRAM (San Antonio, TX)(WEB: www.pdap.com/sahome.htm)
YOUTH BUILD USA –In YouthBuild programs, unemployed and under-educated young people ages 16-24 work toward their GED or high school diploma while learning job skills by building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people. To find a location near you, click here. For more information, call 617-623-9900.
NATIONAL GUARD YOUTH CHALLENGE — A preventive youth-at-risk program, targets unemployed drug-free and law-free high-school dropouts, 16 to 18 years of age. Core components of the program are citizenship, academic excellence (GED/high school diploma attainment), life-coping skills, community service, health and hygiene, skills training, leadership/followership, and physical training. The five-month residential phase is followed by a year-long mentoring relationship with a specially trained member from each youth’s community (WEB: www.ngyf.org/)
Alaska Military Youth Academy Challenge Program Anchorage 877-242-5643, Fairbanks 907-374-7960
Arkansas Youth Challenge – 1-800-814-8453
Grizzly Youth Academy (California)- 1-800-926-0643
Sunburst Youth Academy – 1-877-463-1921
Capital Guardian Challenge Academy – 202-685-8899
Florida Youth Challenge Academy – 904-682-4031
Fort Gordon Youth Challenge Academy (Georgia)- 706-823-8000
Fort Stewart Youth Challenge Academy (Georgia)- 912-876-1721
Hawaii Youth Challenge Academy – Barbers Point (Kalaeloa) 808-685-7139, Kulani (Hilo) 808-933-1922
Idaho Youth Challenge Academy – 208-272-8392
Lincoln’s Challenge (Illinois) – 800-851-2166
Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy – 765-345-1000 or 877-860-0003
Kentucky Bluegrass Challenge Academy – 1-877-599-6884
Appalachian Challenge Academy – 1-877-599-6884
Louisiana Youth Challenge – 1-800-CAMP-KID
Freestate Challenge Academy (Maryland)- 410-436-3559
Michigan Youth Challenge Academy – 1-800-372-0523
Mississippi Youth Challenge – 1-800-507-6253
Montana Youth Challenge Program – 1-877-367-6927 or 1-406-683-7556
Nevada Youth Challenge Program – 775-885-8201
New Jersey Challenge Youth Program – (609) 556-6080
New Mexico Youth Challenge Academy – 800-366-9098 or 575-347-7600 or 575-347-7610
Tarheel Challenge Youth Program (North Carolina)- 910-525-5520 or 800-573-9966
Thunderbird Youth Academy (Oklahoma)- 918-824-4850
Oregon Youth Challenge Program – 541-317-9623 x223 or 541-317-9623 x224
Puerto Rico Youth Challenge Program – 787-260-1737
South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy – 803-299-4879 or 1-866-737-7292
Texas Challenge Academy – 877-822-0050 or 432-836-4648 or 432-290-7145
Seaborne Challenge (Texas)- 409-741-7131
Virginia Commonwealth Challenge – 757-491-5932 or 1-800-796-6472
West Virginia Mountaineer Challenge Academy – 1-800-529-7700 or 304-329-2118
Washington Youth Academy – 360-473-2600
Wisconsin Challenge Academy – 877-968-8427
Wyoming Youth Challenge – 307-836-7500 or 307-836-7512 or
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Online directory to help locate treatment facilities for adolescents and adults (NOT FREE). Call 800-662-HELP; 1-877-767-8432 (Spanish); 1-800-487-4889 (TDD). (WEB: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/)
Lookup Residential Treatment Programs for Military Families utilizing Tri-Care Insurance on the web at:
Medicaid recipients may attempt to get a list of programs that will work with their insurance directly from their State’s Medicaid Office:
1. Call Member Services – the Member Services number is located on the back of the Medicaid insurance card – ask for their list of preferred providers for Residential Treatment Centers, both in and out of their coverage area.
2. Do not let Medicaid ask to pre-qualify the student or patient over the phone – just request that they provide you with their list of programs, or website address where providers are listed.
3. Inquire Directly – programs accepting Medicaid often require that the child meets the medical necessity requirements for coverage. Then, the program will begin to act as the family advocate to get funding for the child’s stay. However, this can take months. Inquiring directly through Medicaid may save a 4-month wait to be evaluated.
Some states post providers who work with Medicaid on a web page, please search for your state’s Medicaid providers via Internet.
If your child has been hospitalized for crisis stabilization or short-term treatment, ask the hospital for a social worker who can assist you in finding longer-term placement using Medicaid services.