Children’s Mental Health Residential Treatment Center Relinquishment Avoidance Project


The Residential Treatment Center Relinquishment Avoidance Project is an overnight residential treatment service for children ages 5 to 17 whose parents have been referred by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Services include weekly individual, group and family counseling provided in a safe, self-contained environment. RTCs provide educational services (either on the self-contained campus or in public school), recreational and social activities. Religious and relevant cultural opportunities are also offered. Caregivers participate in weekly family therapy sessions in person or by telephone to help resolve problems. While the child is in RTC placement, a case manager and certified family partner at a local mental health authority will work with the caregivers to help the child successfully go back home when treatment is completed.

What Are the Benefits of the RTC Relinquishment Avoidance Project?

The RTC Relinquishment Avoidance Project:

  • Prevents the child from being legally removed from the family to receive needed treatment services.
  • Helps the child learn how to manage symptoms of mental illness.
  • Helps the family learn skills for healthier relationships.
  • Provides a safe place for the child to learn how to positively express emotions and live with others.

Who Is Eligible for RTC Relinquishment Avoidance Project?

To be eligible, children (and families) must:

  • Be Texas residents.
  • Be ages 5 to 17.
  • Be referred by DFPS.

Note: Children adopted in Texas are eligible for a different set of DFPS services called post-adoption services. Children adopted outside of Texas can qualify for Children’s Mental Health Case Management.

How Do I Get RTC Relinquishment Avoidance Project Services?

If the child and family meet the eligibility requirements, the family should speak with their regional Child Protective Services office and request a referral to the project.

DFPS will send the referral information to the HHSC RTC Relinquishment Avoidance Project coordinator, who will begin the process for determining final eligibility.

The coordinator will help the family contact the local mental health authority to schedule an assessment to determine the child’s need for residential treatment.

If the child has a need for residential treatment and meets all other eligibility requirements, the local mental health authority will help the family obtain a psychological assessment and complete the required RTC common application.

The coordinator will then help the family choose an RTC that is the best match for the child and family.

Placement in an RTC is not immediate and the child may be placed on a wait list until a space becomes available. While the child is waiting for placement, community mental health center staff work with the child and family to help keep the child at home until admission can be arranged.

Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Find your local mental health authority or local behavioral health authority.