For Parents

As a parent, we realize that this is likely a stressful and difficult time for you. We hope the information you find on the NATSAP website lead you to find help for your son or daughter. Matching the needs of your child to the particular services of a program is one of the most important decisions you will ever make on behalf of your child.


NATSAP is not a referral or placement agency. We are a volunteer membership organization supporting professionals and programs in their efforts to help troubled young people.

About NATSAP’s Members

Many different types of programs have evolved over the past decade to serve the growing needs and numbers of struggling young people. NATSAP and its members have been working with their state legislatures to ensure the appropriate licensure and regulation of programs and schools that serve children and adolescents. And, effective January 1, 2009 all NATSAP members must:

  • Be licensed by the appropriate state agency authorized to set and oversee standards of therapeutic and/or behavioral healthcare for youth and adolescents or accredited by a nationally recognized behavioral health accreditation agency
  • Have therapeutic services with oversight by a qualified clinician
  • Aspire NATSAP Ethical Principles and NATSAP Principles of Good Practice

NATSAP’s membership is comprised of programs, both established and new, that support setting and following national standards. We at NATSAP encourage you to look over these standards: Ethical Principles and Principles of Good Practice. They can help you develop what your expectations should be regarding service delivery from any program.


In addition to the NATSAP Directory of Member Programs, we urge you to review the compilation of information we have gathered to assist you.

  • Questions to Ask Before Making A Final Placement Selection
  • Selecting the “Right” School /Program – Determining the “right” choice to meet your child’s needs
  • NATSAP Program Definitions – Provides the definitions of the different types of schools and programs that are members of NATSAP
  • Program Directory – Provides an on-line copy of the NATSAP Directory of our Member schools and programs
  • Related Organizations – A list of professional organizations whose members can assist you in finding the “right” choice for your son or daughter
  • Financial Options -NATSAP regularly reviews the activities of a variety of fund-raising, granting organizations that offer partial or full scholarships to families in need, so that their children can obtain the necessary treatment and other assistance to improve their lives.