A checklist for parents: What to ask when seeking a provider

A checklist for parents: What to ask when seeking a provider


In a recent blog post, we shared information to help parents know when they should seek help for their struggling teen. If you’ve decided that it’s time to seek help, here is some information to consider.

First, understand the typical levels of care offered in your community. The below graphic explains the typical levels of care. At any given time, a patient may need to step up in care. Also, patients can step down in care as their situation improves.


levels of care infographic


If you have an outpatient counselor established, he or she can refer you to higher levels of care as needed. Stay in touch with your child’s outpatient counselor to know when a change might be recommended.

If a higher level of care is needed, you may wish to prepare for a conversation with a new provider. Here is a checklist of questions you may wish to ask:

Potential questions to ask a provider:

  • What is the expected duration of the program?
  • Is attendance in person or through telehealth, or a mix?
  • Do you accept my insurance?
  • Can you share information with me about the outcomes of your program?
  • Will you coordinate care with my child’s outpatient counselor?
  • Will you communicate with my child’s school about needs and accommodations?
  • Do you handle medication management? (if applicable)
  • What is the process for enrolling in the program?
  • How do you communicate with parents/guardians about progress?
  • Can families participate in the program? 
  • Do you have a waiting list for admission? What can we be doing in the meantime? How fast does your waitlist typically clear?


Remember, if you need immediate assistance, call a crisis hotline in your area. (Minnesota crisis response resources can be found here: https://mentalhealthmn.org/support/crisis/).

Christian Family Solutions also offers a crisis hotline at 800-438-1772, option #1, any time. If you call us during business hours, our helpful staff can walk you through next steps.

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