Contact us Monday through Friday 8:00am CST to 4:00pm CST at 715-327-4402
What kind of program is Northwest Passage?

All Northwest Passage programs are independently licensed by the State of Wisconsin as Residential Care Centers (RCC’s) and accredited through the Council on Accreditation (COA). We provide sophisticated assessment and treatment services within a supportive residential treatment model.

How does Northwest Passage differ from other treatment programs?

Northwest Passage provides services that blend sophisticated treatment modalities with a foundation that teaches our clients about the value of healthy relationships. Unlike many residential treatment programs, our clinical services are fully integrated because our clinicians work full-time on-site, rather than in consulting roles. In addition, our Aftercare and Transition Services, provided through direct service at no additional charge for up to 60 days following a client’s discharge from our treatment programs, are innovative and unique.

Our caring staff provides unique support to each of our clients and helps them develop a sense of self-worth as well as skills for developing and maintaining healthy relationships in their own lives. We help our clients not only learn about themselves but learn about those around them including their families and communities.

What is the age range of the clients you serve?

Northwest Passage’s Prairieview and Riverside campuses accept youth ages 12-17 for residential mental health treatment. Northwest Passage’s 37-day Assessment Program accepts youth ages 6-17.

What is your staff to client ratio?

We have a consistent 1:4 direct care staff to client ratio. At Northwest Passage, we pride ourselves in providing highly individualized care in a supportive environment. A significant part of our service is the ability of our staff to take the time to develop therapeutic relationships with our clients.

How many children are accepted at Northwest Passage Programs?

In the spirit of maintaining a highly individualized and focused treatment or assessment experience for each client, we keep our units small. At our Northwest Passage Riverside program, residents live in one of 3 houses with a maximum capacity of 8 clients per house. At Northwest Passage Prairieview, we have 3 units of 8 clients each. At the Northwest Passage Child and Adolescent Center, we have a maximum of 12 active assessment clients with room for an additional 6-8 clients who are admitted prior to or stay longer than their specific 37-day assessment period if that need arises. Within the Assessment program, clients are split into two units by age with one unit for older clients (often ages 14-17) and one unit for younger clients (often ages 13 and below).

What are the qualifications or trainings of Northwest Passage staff?

Our clinical team includes MDs, PhDs, and Masters level clinicians. Our residential care staff have post-secondary education and extensive training in mental health.

How can I make a referral?

The best way to begin a referral to Northwest Passage is to complete the application on our Admissions Page or to reach out to our Admissions Coordinator Tanya Nelson at

Does Northwest Passage have access to psychiatric services?

Northwest Passage has a full-time board-certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner available to meet with the children and cater to their unique psychiatric needs at all times.

What is a Neuropsychologist?

Neuropsychologists are Clinical Psychologists with expertise in the relationships between brain function and behavior. A Neuropsychologist acquires specific expertise only through the completion of a post-doctoral fellowship in Neuropsychology. While some Psychologists may use individual measures common in neuropsychological evaluation, only someone who has completed this specialized fellowship in neuropsychology will have the expertise to truly understand and assess how the individual’s brain works and the impact this has on their personality, emotions, and behavior. Our Neuropsychologists have all completed this formal post-doctoral fellowship.

The expertise applied by our Neuropsychologists allows them to comprehensively address the complex needs of children in a way that other Clinical Psychologists cannot. By determining a child’s strengths and weaknesses, we identify roadblocks that are preventing a child from reaching their potential. In addition to evaluating a client’s cognitive abilities and personality, our Neuropsychologists can address questions of memory, language, executive skills (problem-solving), visual-perceptual skills, fine motor skills, attention, concentration, comprehension, and academic abilities.

Our Neuropsychologists can also go far beyond assessment for the most common mental health challenges and make assessments for specialized disorders such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury, Seizure Disorders, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder/Autism.

How do you assess treatment outcomes?

At Northwest Passage we are interested in evaluating our treatment programs and assessing treatment outcomes in support of our mission to restore hope for the children and families we serve. To accomplish this we ask all youth in our Prairieview and Riverside programs and their parents or guardians to complete the Youth Outcome Questionnaire (YOQ). The YOQ is a valid and reliable tool that measures treatment progress for children and adolescents, and is designed to reflect the amount of distress a child or adolescent is experiencing.

We ask youth and their parents to complete the YOQ at the time of admission, discharge, and every 90 days for the first year after discharge. Youth also complete the YOQ every 90 days during their time at Northwest Passage, and those results are used to monitor individual progress.

If you are interested in learning more about treatment outcomes at Northwest Passage, please contact Anna Pearson, Quality Improvement Specialist at

How will my child's education be addressed at Northwest Passage?

Our classrooms incorporate integrated experiential educational activities with credit-bearing academic instruction in a variety of subjects. Our licensed teachers work directly with students, their parents, and their school to provide the most appropriate and targeted educational experience possible. While at Northwest Passage, because of the stable and supportive environment and attention to individual academic and therapeutic needs, many students are able to complete work and make significant gains in credit earnings.

Are your programs locked/secure?

Our programs are not locked, though the buildings and doors are equipped with alarms and our clients are monitored and supervised 24 hours per day. We find that the relationships our staff develop with our clients and the creativity of our programming can often provide a natural buffer even for clients who have a history of running away from home or other programs.

What are the visiting and calling policies?

While visitation and phone call schedules vary by program, all clients are able to have visitors and phone calls. These are coordinated through each child’s individual case manager.

Can Northwest Passage help me with transportation?

After a child has been accepted into the program and an admission date is set, Northwest Passage can work with parents to determine the best strategy for admission. And, while we are located in beautiful Northwest Wisconsin, we are only as far as you need us to be. We provide extensive transportation services for such things as admission, family visits, medical appointments, transitional therapy appointments, court appearances, etc.

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