How This Program Might Help My Teen

Our Foundation was established to serve teens suffering from the effects of certain mental health conditions.  We know how difficult this challenge is, and how hard it can be on families.   That’s why we want to offer as many young people as we can a new path forward.

Unfortunately, our program doesn’t fit everyone.  Because our model is based on teens traveling across the country not only to live with a host family on their ranch or farm, but also to participate in daily farming life including appropriate outdoor chores, we must ensure that any teen we match will be able to handle these responsibilities. Our careful application and screening process helps us to ensure that we are engaging teens that the teens family and health care providers believe may benefit from our unique program.

At any stage of this process, we are here to answer your questions, provide guidance, and make recommendations based on the particular needs of your teen and your family as well. Like you, we want what is best for your teen, and we hope to instill self-confidence and skills that they’ll be able to carry with them wherever their journey leads. The information below is a guide to help you decide if it is time to refer your teen to our program.

Who Does Ben’s Ranch Foundation Serve?

Currently, Ben’s Ranch seeks to help teens aged 15-18 who are experiencing significant family dysfunction and stress as a result of mental health issues including but not limited to:
• Depression
• Bipolar Disorder
• Anxiety (generalized, social and/or separation anxiety)
• Drug/Alcohol experimentation

Unfortunately, at this point in time, we are unable to accept teens with diagnoses including:
• Psychosis
• Conduct Disorder
• Moderate to severe Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Moderate to severe intellectual disability
• Any history of inappropriate sexual behavior
• Heavy drug use
• Suicidal
• Homicidal
• Severe aggression
• Significant self-harming behaviors

Certain medical conditions will preclude a child’s participation such as poorly controlled diabetes, seizure disorders, the need for medication that requires intense monitoring, and any other condition that interferes with the ability to perform typical outdoor farm chores.

Because our host families are volunteers and not professionals, we must consider the best interests of both the teens and their hosts in what would be an appropriate and safe match. We hope to expand the scope of our services in years to come as we gain experience and capacity. For questions regarding the specifics of the above criteria, please contact us.

Apply for a Teen