What is an educational consultant?

At Skelton Thomason, we are trained professionals who assist families seeking residential treatment and/or therapeutic boarding school options for their children. We are residential placement specialists with extensive knowledge of programs and schools that assist children who are struggling emotionally, behaviorally and/or academically. We are hired by families to find the right fit between a child and a school/program where he or she can experience growth and success.

What is a therapeutic boarding school? What is residential treatment? What exactly is the difference?

A therapeutic boarding school (TBS), also known as an emotional growth boarding school, is a boarding school based on the therapeutic community model, which offers an educational program combined with specialized structure and supervision for students with emotional and behavioral problems, substance abuse problems, or unique learning issues. There is great variation between programs regarding the amount and type of therapy offered, the extracurricular offerings, academics, opportunities for family involvement and the types of students they serve. The focus is typically on emotional growth and academic recovery, involving structure and supervision for emotional, behavioral, family, social, intellectual and academic development. A variety of interventions are used in therapeutic boarding schools.

Residential treatment centers/programs are more clinically focused and provide behavioral therapy and treatment for adolescents with more serious psychological and behavioral issues. Medication management and monitoring is available. Residential treatment centers typically provide a very high level of supervision, structure and clinical support, with regular individual and group therapy. They offer academic instruction and recreational activities.

Often the differences between therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment centers are subtle. The intensity of the clinical treatment varies depending upon the culture of current students, the leadership team and the clinical team at any given time. That is why we spend a great deal of time visiting programs and making sure we stay current on changes within programs. We visit programs on a regular basis in order to keep track of the inevitable changes that occur. This is one of the many reasons why utilizing the services of an educational consultant is so important.

What am I paying for? What is included in your fee?

The fee covers the assessment, placement recommendations for your child, and extensive case management throughout the course of treatment. Typically our clients go to some type of primary treatment, and then transition to a longer term residential treatment setting or therapeutic boarding school. Parent Coaching is provided to all families in order to help create long term change. Support is provided by our team every step of the way. When the inevitable "bumps" occur, we are here to provide support and guidance.

Should I use a consultant who lives closer to us?

We have successfully served families nationwide for fifteen years. Finding a consultant who is a good fit for your family is far more important than finding one that is near you geographically. Making sure you have a consultant that understands your family’s unique situation is the primary concern. Our work can be done from any distance.

Do you receive compensation or "kick backs" from any school or program?

Absolutely not. We are truly independent and have no affiliation with any particular school or program. This is an important question. Anyone who receives any type of compensation from a school or treatment center for placing students is unethical. We adhere to the standards of our professional organization, the Independent Educational Consultants Association. We refer to a wide variety of schools and program nationwide depending upon the unique needs of each child we serve.

Do consultants get special "deals" from schools or programs? And, can using a consultant save me money?

Using a consultant doesn’t necessarily save you money, but it is a good way to prevent you from spending money that you don’t need to spend. Because such a high level of care is taken in finding the right match between a client and a program, there is a higher likelihood that you are not going to spend money on a program that isn’t right for your child. Far too often families come to us after spending several months in the wrong program. The child has not experienced success, and they have spent thousands of dollars and a great deal of time and emotional energy. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation on the internet about treatment programs and therapeutic schools and it is difficult to know which programs are ethical programs with high standards of treatment. We spent a great deal of time visiting programs throughout the country and working closely with them to determine which kids succeed in which programs.

Why choose Skelton Thomason?

Having a child in crisis can be a terrifying and immobilizing experience for a parent. When parents are consumed by fear about their child’s well-being, it is difficult to make a sound, informed decision about how to intervene. We offer over 50 years of combined experience in the treatment industry, and our team approach to assisting families broadens the perspective we offer and the wealth of experience available to each family. We work very hard to understand each family’s unique situation so that we can make the absolute best "match" between student and program.

We spend a great deal of time in programs so that we are aware of the inevitable changes that occur within a program. We work hard to really know the leadership team, the clinical team, educators, and those who are responsible for direct care of the students. It is imperative that we have a clear understanding of the "culture" of each unique program.

Skelton Thomason and Associates is known for insight, patience, compassion, and above all, a very personal commitment to the families they serve. They work with other professionals who take pride in their vocations, practice confidentiality, and conduct business with the utmost integrity.

We are not affiliated with any school or program. We refer families to a wide variety of treatment programs and schools depending on their unique needs. The needs of the child and the family are always the most important consideration.

We are well known for the guidance and support offered to families before, during, and after placement. We communicate regularly and often with families throughout the process and always visit the child during the residential placement. We take pride in our personal touch that includes getting to know our families in a way that helps us understand their needs and hopes. With this insight, we can effectively guide them through the decision making process during these very challenging times.

Having been through this process themselves, SkeltonThomason has a unique perspective on the type and level of support that families need during this difficult time.

Why use a consultant?

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