Places for Juveniles to Go Temporarily

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    Juvenile Detention

    • If a juvenile is arrested for a crime, he may be taken to a juvenile detention center, or "juvenile hall," while his criminal case is pending in court. Those who are detained have usually been arrested for serious crimes, or else they have a long history of previous offenses. Juvenile detention facilities are the equivalent of adult jails. Juveniles are housed in locked cells, but usually have more freedom than adults because of their age. Juveniles are legally required to attend school while detained.

    Foster Care

    • If a parent is unable to care for her child for any reason, the child may be placed in temporary foster care. A child is often placed in foster care following a report of abuse or neglect within the home. A judge may order that the child be removed from the home for her safety, at which time a child protective services officer will find a suitable home for the child. The judge will monitor the case to determine if the family will be able to reunite. The child and parents will be given access to necessary services, such as counseling, to help the situation.

    Psychiatric Hospital

    • If a child is exhibiting extreme behavioral or mental health issues, typically in the form of homidical or suicidal ideations, the child may be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. The child will be evaluated by the hospital to determine if he needs to be admitted, or if he can be referred to outpatient services. If the child is admitted, he will be treated by a psychiatrist and/or psychologist and may be placed on medication. The child will remain in the hospital until he is determined to be stable enough to return home, or until another suitable placement is found.

    Residential Facility

    • Residential facilities are typically used as a last resort to help a child with behavioral, mental health or legal problems. Often, a child will be referred to a residential facility after spending time in a detention center, in foster care or in a psychiatric hospital. If a child has been struggling with previous placements, the child may be sent to residential treatment, either by her parents or by a judge (if the child is involved in the legal system). Most residential facilities will house juveniles for about six months to a year, but the time frame may be shorter or longer, depending on their progress in treatment.

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