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The teen years are a critical developmental phase as children become adults.

During adolescence, preteens and teens going through puberty become increasingly conscious of their body image. They develop their sexual, gender, and ethnic identities. Peer relationships become increasingly important. School responsibilities increase and some teens get a job. Many teens experiment with drugs and alcohol. The teen years have unique stresses and pressures. Teens may not always let on—but parents and other caring adults play a vital role in providing support and helping teens achieve their best on their way to adulthood.

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Programs for Struggling Teens: Youth Diversion Programs

Youth diversion programs typically attempt to help struggling teens who have had contact with the police avoid more formal involvement in the juvenile justice system (that is, juvenile courts and correctional facilities).


Programs for Struggling Teens: Alternative High Schools

Alternative high schools in the home community provide education, including special education services, to teens who have foundered academically or socially in traditional high schools.


Programs for Struggling Teens: Substance Abuse Courts

Many different kinds of services and programs are available for struggling teens.

The Most Common Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting a Program or School

Parents of a struggling teen sometimes feel lost, fearful, frustrated, and angry.


Finding the Right Program or School

Parents (and their advisers) must thoroughly examine schools and programs before deciding which is likely to be most appropriate.


Finding Skilled Educational Consultants

Selecting the right educational consultant is vital when parents need to find a specialized school or program, especially when parents feel the need to find a school or program outside of their home community (that is, when all local options have been exhausted). 


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