Our Family’s Story
Our Journey Toward Helping Parents Find Residential and Therapeutic Boarding Schools
Note: The youngest in our family is not depicted above for the sake of his personal privacy and his professional career. If you’re wondering how he’s doing today, he is doing very well! – Garret Bolthouse, President/CEO (the guy on the right!)
In 2006 our family struggled to find the right kind of help for our own struggling teen. Added to his well-established ADHD, with all of its challenges, the youngest in our family began to experience depression, anxiety, cutting, and extreme anger. His puzzling and bewildering choices resulted in drug and alcohol abuse, huffing, smoking pot, running away, and failing in school. Life for the entire family seemed hopeless as his behavior spiraled out of control.
Our First Experience With a Boarding School Was Life-Threatening for Our Family’s Youngest
Our first attempt at residential care was in a local boarding program. We hoped providing our struggling teen with the educational support, structure, and a much-needed break from all the negative events would help him change his mind about some of his heart-breaking choices.
Unfortunately, we didn’t know then what we understand now about boarding schools. After major surgery to his broken nose and eye socket, doctors told us that he was lucky to have survived the random beating from three other students. We discovered the hard way that boarding schools don’t always reveal the kinds of students they accept, and in this case the school accepted some pretty rough kids.
Searching for the Right Program for Our Struggling Teen
After the surgical repair to his broken facial bones, we asked a myriad more questions, and then pursued placement in a safe, Christian therapeutic boarding school program called Heartlight Ministries – a residential treatment center located in East Texas.
His 13-month stay at Heartlight probably saved his life. The therapy and help our entire family received from Mark Gregston and the Heartlight staff gave us a deep desire to one day be able to assist others in the same way. We wanted to inform, and help parents understand how to avoid the same mistakes we made when choosing a program for their teen.
Our work developing resources for parents began with the support and grace of the Heartlight Foundation, and eventually became the exclusive focus of our own business in 2008. Since then we have worked hard to search out the country’s most highly qualified, reputable, and safe Christian and non-Christian therapeutic boarding school treatment programs, and develop a way to share that information with others.
As our work in the residential treatment industry has grown, we have gathered steam enough to collaborate with more than 80 treatment programs. All agree to work together to serve the needs of any family who comes to them in search of help for a struggling teen, pre-teen, or young adult, even if their program is not the right fit.
Helping Parents Navigate the World of Residential and Therapeutic Boarding Schools
There is no shortage of need in the world of struggling teens, and families are looking for qualified help via the Internet. Hundreds of families search online every day for high-quality residential treatment centers, therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness therapy programs, rehabs, low-cost services, and in-home resources. But just because one can find a program via the Internet does not mean one can trust what a program says about itself is the truth.
The Envoy Group utilizes the power of technology and personal relationships for the widespread distribution of industry information, gathering real-time feedback from parents whom have placed their child in a program, validating programs in a professional and personal way, and acting as uniquely qualified, highly experienced representative for competent, compassionate, ethical programs in the marketplace.
We help parents find good programs. We help good programs be "found" by those who need them most. Our services are free to parents – we help any parent find any program, not just those in our network. It is our pleasure to serve in this way.