Located in Frederic, Wisconsin, Northwest Passage Child and Adolescent Center (NWPCAC) is home to a very unique and comprehensive clinical assessment program for male and female clients, ages 6-17.
Assessments focus on neuropsychological evaluation, family assessment, psychiatric assessment, educational and therapeutic lifestyle assessments, health/medical assessments, and, when necessary, chemical health assessment. We recognize the significant value of professional collaboration; therefore, our assessments are completed in a highly integrated interdisciplinary team model that is more intensely beneficial than traditional outpatient evaluation services.
WHAT ASSESSMENT CAN ACCOMPLISH: Through years of providing residential treatment services, we have learned that too often children are enrolled in treatment services without a clear understanding of what is to be gained by the service. This kind of “dart throwing” approach to treatment can easily lead to more costly yet less helpful services and often prevents, rather than promotes, success. We created this one-of-a-kind assessment program to offer children and families a chance to stop the guesswork and find stability. Our mission is to create an individualized and targeted treatment plan that leads to more effective treatment services. Each member of our clinical team brings experience and expertise in their field to a process that allows for complete integration of all of the findings. The result is an assessment that provides clear answers and a coordinated plan that incorporates specific recommendations for the child and the family system.
OUR COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT ADDRESSES THE FOLLOWING AREAS:
- Neuropsychological evaluation -focuses on understanding how the individual’s brain works and the impact this has on their personality, emotions, and behaviors. Specific areas assessed include cognitive functioning, memory, language, executive skills (problem solving), visual-perceptual skills, fine motor skills, attention, concentration, academic abilities, behavior and personality
- Family assessment -focuses on how the child’s issues and needs have impacted the family system and how the family system can impact the child
- Psychiatric assessment and medication management -focus on assessment of current medications, changes to medications when necessary, and overall effective use of psychotropic medications
- Educational and academic functioning assessment -focuses not only on academic functioning, but also on what academic pursuits will help children find success in their education
- Therapeutic lifestyle assessment -focuses on strengths and treatment interfering behaviors related to the use of nature, recreation, relaxation, nutrition, exercise, relationships, service, and spirit to promote wellness. In addition, observations of clients in the therapeutic living environment and programming are used to aid the clinical evaluations.
- Health/medical assessment -focuses on evaluating overall health and providing care or seeking referrals for effective medical treatment if needed
- Chemical health assessment (if necessary) -focuses on history of use, diagnoses, treatment planning, and recommendations integrated with other identified treatment needs
DAILY PROGRAMMING… Clients are consistently engaged in active and structured programming. During the day, our clients work with special education staff and mental health professionals on a variety of group work, educational programming and diagnostic testing. Throughout the day, they take breaks for meals, snacks, structured free time, and active recreation both indoor and outdoor. In the evening, clients engage in a variety of group activities facilitated by our trained mental health staff. These activities provide opportunities for our staff to evaluate each client’s response to a variety of treatment interventions and modalities. This assists the team in providing specific recommendations for successful treatment services following the assessment. On weekends, clients continue to follow a schedule with structured physical activities such as hiking, swimming, sledding, etc., as well as opportunities for clients to engage in activities that are interesting to them whether that be arts and crafts, playing games, writing, or other recreational activities. Our skilled staff continues to provide direct observation of clients and their behaviors to aid in the assessment process.
ANSWERS TO YOUR MOST TROUBLING QUESTIONS… At NWPCAC, we recognize that our findings are only useful if you are given thorough information in a way that makes sense. While we provide comprehensive reports following our assessments, our unique program design offers so much more. Throughout a child’s placement, our case managers maintain consistent contact with you to give you ongoing information about your child’s placement and the progress of the assessment. Families are engaged in the assessment directly through individual meetings with the neuropsychologist and family therapist. The connections with the case manager and the family meetings help you shape the assessment to make certain the questions you have about your child’s needs are answered thoroughly. Near the completion of the assessment, our clinical team and case manager meet directly with the family and community-based treatment professionals, so that our assessment findings and recommendations can be thoroughly explained and discussed. This offers you a chance to understand and discuss the issues of the assessment which enhances your ability to engage in a successful treatment plan for your child’s specific needs. Our clinical staff makes certain that all of your questions are answered directly so you do not have to comb through technical reports to find the answers on your own. Then, comprehensive written reports can be more easily understood and can serve as a reference point moving forward.
“Our assessment generates a dynamic treatment plan designed by the multidisciplinary team to address both the needs of the child and family, which allows for a much greater chance for success.”
FLEXIBLE ADMISSIONS OPTIONS… While the assessment period is always 30 days, clients may enter the program before the assessment begins (called pre-placement) and may stay after the assessment is over to allow time for treatment plan implementation. If either of these more flexible placement options is necessary, clients are engaged in all aspects of the programming including educational, behavioral, and group services as well as medication management efforts during their entire stay.
THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS Northwest Passage accepts referrals from parents, social service personnel, community service providers (therapists, psychiatrists), and independent educational consultants.