Residential Treatment Facility (RTF)

A Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) is a place where children and teenagers live temporarily to get treatment for severe emotional and/or behavioral disorders that cannot be managed in the community. Doctors, therapists, social workers, and child care workers help children in RTFs. RTFs are most helpful when families are involved in their child’s care.

RTFs are not permanent places for children to live. They are also not places for children to live if they cannot live with their parents. There are many RTFs in the state. You can choose the program you want for your child. Choosing an RTF close to your home will make it easier for you to stay involved.

How do children get RTF services?

A doctor (usually a psychiatrist) must evaluate your child. The doctor will recommend what service he or she thinks is best for your child. RTF is usually only recommended when other mental health services have not worked.

What services does an RTF provide?

  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Medicine services by a doctor and a nurse
  • Case management
  • Coordination with school districts to make sure your child’s school needs are met
  • Assistance with family visits and home visits so they are successful for your child

What are the RTF’s responsibilities to my child and me?

  • Treat you, your child, and your family with respect.
  • Include you and your child when making your child’s treatment plan.
  • Provide all the therapy services your child needs.
  • Talk with you about how your child is doing and how long your child will need to stay at the RTF.
  • Make it as easy as possible for you to stay involved with your child.
  • Involve you in planning for your child’s return home.
  • Talk to you about how long your child may need to stay at the RTF.
  • Tell you when your child has medical needs; with your permission, get the medical services your child needs.
  • Be available to answer your questions.
  • Provide a safe live-in setting for your child.
  • Help you learn more about other available services.

What should I do if we have a crisis while my child is on a home visit?

  • Call your RTF provider. Your RTF provider will help if you have a crisis while your child is on a home visit.

What are my responsibilities when my child gets services from an RTF?

  • Talk to the people at the RTF regularly.
  • Participate in family treatment sessions.
  • Attend treatment team meetings. Tell the team if there are reasons you can’t attend. They may be able to change plans to make it possible for you to attend.
  • Help the treatment team understand your child. You know your child better than anyone.
  • Do your best to follow the plan for your child during home visits.

What if I am not satisfied with the services my child receives?

Talk to your provider about your concerns. If you are not satisfied with your provider’s response, call us. You can choose the provider that you want to work with your child. For information about available service providers, call us for help.