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When parents or guardians are considering finding a residential treatment program for a troubled teenager, the decision is often a difficult one.

While residential treatment programs may appeal to families, some of whom are looking for a less-restrictive alternative to incarceration or hospitalization, no standard definition exists for these programs. Such programs are not regulated by the federal government, and many are not subject to state licensing or monitoring.

In an effort to help parents and guardians with these decisions, the Federal Trade Commission has written a new publication with 15 questions to ask representatives of residential treatment programs. To learn more go to

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC's Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(res treatment FYI 7-8)

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