The department may utilize licensed long-term residential facilities as a treatment option for probationers when local resources have been exhausted or any time the court determines that residential care is appropriate. The number of juveniles able to be placed by the court in residential care is extremely limited due to space and financial constraints. Due to the high cost of placing a juvenile in a residential program, the parent is typically ordered by the court to reimburse Galveston County for a portion of the cost. The Placement Officer provides ongoing probation supervision of the child when in placement. While the juvenile is placed in a residential facility, parents are expected to maintain positive contacts and to participate in counseling services to facilitate the juvenile’s successful return home. In some cases the goal of placement may be preparation of the juvenile for independent living rather than to return home.
Parents may opt to obtain residential services for their child, apart from any services provided by the department. Bed spaces and financial resources of the department are extremely limited. Not every child who may benefit from residential placement can receive this treatment option from the department. Therefore, parents are encouraged to utilize residential treatment resources they believe to be in the best interest of their child. The probation officer may assist the parent with resource information for facilities that accept “parent referrals”, such as names and contact phone numbers. However, providing such resource information is in no way an endorsement or recommendation of the facility. The probation officer and the department can not vouch for the quality of care and services. Parent must be diligent in thoroughly investigating any facility prior to placing their child.