Northwood Children’s Services has long had a vision to provide a full continuum of mental health services to the area’s children and their families. The aim is to provide the right level of care at the right time. I am pleased to announce the latest addition to that continuum of care, located at the most intensive end of the continuum. On June 18, Northwood went live with the conversion of the West Campus to a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility.
Northwood is pleased to be the first agency in the state to operate this type of program. Over a year in development, the services provided in this program land somewhere between an inpatient psychiatric hospital and children’s residential treatment program. Serving up to 48 students from across the state, the program model is characterized by intensive medical services, including 24 hour nursing care; enhanced role of psychiatric services; a higher staff to student ratio; more frequent therapy sessions; frequent review and re-set of individual treatment plans and a program expectation for an around-the-clock treatment focus.
Our partners in this venture are the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Health. It took a tremendous effort from senior Northwood staff members to get to this point. We had to meet new standards in many areas, adjust our policies and practices accordingly and train all of our staff on the changes. Trust me, it has been a massive undertaking.
It is our expectation that, as the program develops, we will be able to serve those children and youth whose symptoms and presenting problems prevent them from being served in existing programs, at Northwood or elsewhere. We are proud to be selected by the state to deliver this new level of care, and intend to do our best to provide a positive outcome for each child and family served.
As always, I would like to express my appreciation to the Northwood Children’s Services Board of Directors for their vision and support. They are intensely committed to serving as many students as we possibly can and to provide them with the skills and tools they need to lead more satisfying and successful lives.
Stay tuned, I will give you an update in future issues!
President & CEO