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Kern County Teen Challenge

Kern County Teen Challenge


Teen Challenge is a nonprofit, faith-based network of treatment facilities designed for individuals struggling with chemical dependency. Part of the organization’s nationwide network, Kern County Teen Challenge, located on the outskirts of Bakersfield, Calif., offers gender-specific residential programs for adult men and women. Detoxification services are not provided on-site.


Clients are admitted into the program after an application and interview process, along with a health screening. Kern County Teen Challenge’s residential programs are referred to as “Induction Centers,” where clients reside for approximately three to four months before transferring to one of two long-term centers for an additional eight to 12 months. The campus offers separate centers for men and women.

The induction process is designed to familiarize clients with daily routines and ensure that they form a solid Christian foundation to support their recovery before moving on to subsequent phases (the Training Center, Apprenticeship, and Restoration.) The facility does not provide psychiatric or medical services.

During their time in the Induction Center, clients participate in Christian discipleship classes, which are held two to five times per week, as well as individual advising sessions, group and personalized studies, and regular prayer, devotional, and chapel services. Clients are also responsible for chores, assigned work projects, and given the opportunity to participate in various recreational activities.

Programming at the Induction Center is focused on recovery and forming a deeper spiritual connection with Christian principles. However, once the client transitions into the Training Center, the individual can also obtain their G.E.D., if applicable, while preparing for independent living and continuing in character development activities.

After completing the Training Center phase of the program, clients who choose to establish a residence near the program may have the option to participate in a 6-12 month mentoring program and help part-time at Kern County Teen Challenge.


Most staff members are graduates of the Teen Challenge program. Kern County’s director himself graduated from the Teen Challenge program in 1983. The one alum polled by at the time of this writing gave the facility three out of five stars for the staff’s level of training and experience, while the two loved ones polled by gave this aspect of the facility perfect five-star ratings.


The Shafter Men’s Ranch is located on one acre of land and houses approximately 80 men. The Women’s Campus houses 45 women. Smoking, drugs and mood-altering medications of any kind, and the use of any tobacco products (including vaporizers) are prohibited. Communication is restricted to family members.


The one alum polled by had moderate positive opinions of the facility. The anonymous alum gave four-star ratings for the facility’s holistic treatment offerings and the amount of family participation, but gave two-star ratings for the facility’s counseling options and discharge planning. “Structure people who care and getting u prepared,” the alum wrote. However, they felt meals and visitation policies were weaknesses of the facility.

On the facility’s Facebook page, which may be curated, the program received an average rating of 4.6 out of five stars based on 50 reviews at the time of this writing.[1] Clients tended to praise the facility for its solidly religious programming. Alum Gabriel wrote: “I had my first encounter with God here and met some of the best brothers I’ve come across here. Thank God for Kern County’s Teen Challenge.”


The two loved ones polled by at the time of this writing gave facility very positive feedback. Both survey respondents gave perfect five-star ratings for the level of family participation, the facility’s counseling options, and its affordability. “My daughter went in an addict and came out clean. Has been clean for 4 years now,” one parent wrote. However, both loved ones reported long wait times for admission.


Kern County Teen Challenge is supported by private donations and fundraising efforts and offers its services free of charge.

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Reviews about Kern County Teen Challenge

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
  • Christian base with some counselors who have been through the program It was always full. Needs to be bigger. My daughter went in an addict and came out clean. Has been clean for 4 years now.
  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
  • Many if not all the counselor shave gone through the facility so they have first hand knowledge It worked !! The only thing that makes it hard is the facility is full so many days it may take awhile to get in.
  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
  • Structure people who care and getting u prepared. To be a good citizen after ur program. Meals and not alot of visits. Good helpful and u focus on u.