Youth Care

Youth Care


Youth Care is a “behavior modification boarding school,” offering residential treatment for adolescents aged 11 to 18 who are struggling with a variety of mental and behavioral health disorders, including but not limited to depression, self-esteem issues, and substance abuse issues.


On an average week, clients receive 20 hours of clinical services, focused on helping them to recognize and understand their choices and the consequences of those choices. Treatment consists of medication management services; individual, group, and family therapy, including dialectical behavior therapy (DBT); and recreational and experiential therapies.

The program is structured into levels, according to a points system. Residents are given points hourly, for behavior such as good school performance and appropriate social interactions. The immediacy of this system is designed to help students correct their poor behavior.

The center has four main levels: orientation, awareness, proficiency, and mastery. There are also three correctional levels, which involve a variety of punishments including withheld privileges. If a client moves back a level, they must complete various therapeutic assignments before returning to their previous level.

The center places a strong emphasis on family involvement, offering weekly family therapy sessions as well as parent days every six to eight weeks, which include conferences, therapy, support groups, and student presentations.

Aftercare options include a partial hospitalization program (PHP) that runs seven days a week from the residential treatment facility.


Staff includes a psychiatrist, a psychologist, nurses, social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and advanced substance abuse counselors. The single individual polled by to date on the staff’s level of training and experience gave it two out of five stars.


Residents share bedrooms in a comfortable family-style home with a computer room and a garden. Clients must complete mandatory chores, and the center also offers recreational activities such as cross-country skiing, indoor climbing, and snowshoeing, designed to instill trust, honesty, good communication skills, and strong self-esteem. Clients also perform service-based activities every week, such as volunteering at the food bank or playing bingo with the elderly.

The center is a fully accredited academic institution with certified teachers.


The single alum review submitted to to date was very negative. Julie gave Youth Care just two out of five stars for its family programming, and one star in most of the other 15 evaluated treatment metrics, including its overall effectiveness, counseling options, and treatment for co-occurring disorders. Julie described feeling unsafe around the other residents and uncared for by staff; she also cited excessively severe restrictions, including bans on going outside and speaking to their families, as well as apparently unwarranted punishments. “I had anxiety before but my anxiety became 10x worse because of this experience… I just recently recovered from the experience. I went when I was 16 and now I’m 24,” she wrote.

At the time of this writing, secondary review sites yielded polarized feedback. The center had an almost perfect average rating based on 24 reviews on, a 1.7-star average rating based on six reviews on HealthGrove, and a 2.8- out of five-star average rating on Google.[1][2][3] The positive reviewers repeatedly reported that they learned a lot at Youth Care, and that the facility helped them to grow into happy, healthy people.

Numerous alumni echoed reviewer Julie, citing harsh and inappropriate treatment, strict rules including excessive limitations on contact with families, and leaving the facility feeling worse than they did on entry. “Sending me to Youth Care is the biggest mistake my parents have made in their entire lives. I now have severe PTSD and horrible strained relationships with my family… [This facility] treats patients as if they are prisoners while earning large sums of money each day,” Ryan wrote in a representative review on


The single loved one polled by to date would recommend this center to friends and family. “It was good,” they wrote anonymously, giving the center three out of five stars for the overall quality of its addiction treatment and four stars for the overall quality of its mental health treatment; however, they gave the center lower ratings of two stars for its holistic offerings and its leadership.


The cost of treatment varies according to the client’s needs and length of stay. The center is in-network with Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, United, and Value Options, and can also accept insurance on an out-of-network basis. Youth Care has also partnered with healthcare loans company American Healthcare Lending, to increase the accessibility of treatment to those who cannot afford to pay without a loan.

In April 2015, Al Jazeera America published a report on abuse at adolescent residential facilities in Utah, reporting: “In 2007, Brendan Blum, 14, likely experienced a ‘violent and painful’ death at Youth Care in Draper, Utah, according to a coroner, after his bowel twisted during the night and overnight staffers did not notify an on-call nurse.” An article in Deseret News dating to the period of that incident noted: “The facility issued a statement shortly after the boy’s death saying it was the result of a ‘medical condition.’”


Youth Care Reviews

  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
It was good.
Putting responsibility on kids for others behaviors, being cooped up in the house with no outside time (outside time was a privilege), no options for treatment, no recreation time, no benefits, no outlets, etc. This was the worst 3 months of my life. YouthCare was an incredibly disorienting rehab facility. Kids with ranges of problems from eating disorders to aggressive suicidal behavior to cutting were here but the techs couldn't cater to everyone. I was a very mild case...suffering from anxiety and depression, and I consistently felt in danger and like it was my fault if someone cut themselves or went AWOL. If any of the other patients behaved badly (even if you behaved well) there was a threat of a "safety" which is when you stay in a room for 12-72 hours...all of your meals are brought to your desk and you have to do writing exercises. None of this is your fault, they expect you to take on everyone else's behavior. It was a privilege to go outside and the first 2 weeks I was there I couldn't go outside, I had to submit an inquiry for it. The rules were strict, groups were incredibly terrifying... The techs were awful, some were down right terrible and made me feel like I was being emotional... I never felt ok. The doctors didn't listen to you. They wouldn't let you talk to your parents for weeks. It was a privilege to talk to them. The therapists didn't have you in mind when they were helping you, they just wanted to get the job done. I had anxiety before but my anxiety became 10x worse because of this experience...I felt like I was in a coffin given food and water every other day. I know that sounds like a huge exaggeration but I just recently recovered from the experience. I went when I was 16 and now I'm 24. I'm not sure if the facility is closed or has gotten any bad press I haven't checked but this place should be SHUT DOWN! Please investigate.