This article is a reflection on the institutional treatment of adolescents, but essentially on the place of adults who are involved in it. My practice as a therapist with adolescents in an institution has served as the basis for it; but it is mainly the difficulties that we have encountered with one of the adolescents that have given rise to this initial work. Indeed, this adolescent, with his set of problems, brought out institutional flaws that have to do with the difficulties encountered by social workers in their practice and to their own position within the institution. What do they do within the institution, and what place to they hold in relation to these young people ? The question had barely been raised when it began to create worry and even some aggressiveness. Indeed, it is often a matter of « straightening out » or « correcting » of deviant behavior after an overwhelming demand that the medical-psychological corps « abrade » the symptoms because « you’re not the one who has to deal with them all day ».This response, which is supposed to be swift and thorough, is also one held by politicians in the field of mental health and it is what led us to undertake this work.