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FAQs

Below are some commonly asked questions about Rawhide Boys Ranch, who is eligible to be placed at Rawhide, and the intake process.

Please take a moment to browse the topics below and your questions will likely be answered. If you do not find the answer to your question below, please feel free to submit your question to us.

How is a young man admitted to a Rawhide program?

Depending on individual circumstances and the program chosen, admission varies.

If the young man is already in the juvenile court system, a county or state social worker may refer him to Rawhide. His public defender or attorney may also contact us for admission information. A judge has to approve placement and it becomes court-ordered. He may then be placed into the About Face Program (120-day military-style community service corps), or into the Standard Residential Program.

If the young man has not yet been in trouble with the law but the parents fear he is at-risk, he may be eligible for the Academy Program. Admission to the Academy Program is voluntary, and students are accepted from anywhere in the country. The first step in the admission process is to complete the online screening. If your child is eligible for a program you will be given a link to the admissions application.

Once your application is received, Rawhide staff will review it and then conduct an interview to determine if the needs of the student can be met through the services provided by Rawhide. Once a good fit is determined, the next step is to complete the admissions paperwork and prepare for placement.

What is the average length of stay at Rawhide?

Placement in the About Face or Standard Residential programs typically ranges from 4 months to 9 months based on the needs of the student.

Placements for youth in the voluntary Academy Program vary in length from 4 to 10 months, but can be longer depending upon the therapeutic and educational needs of the student. Parents or guardians are part of the decision-making team and help determine the overall length of stay. Young men in the Academy Program are discharged when they turn 18.

What is the cost of the program?

Referrals from county or placing agencies are billed directly for program costs of youth placed at Rawhide by the courts. Daily fees depend on the program chosen.

Rates for families that are placing their student directly into the program outside the court system will vary depending on in and out of state tuition and financial need.  Rawhide offers tuition assistance and, based on family size, assests and income.

Please call 1-800-729-4433 and ask to talk with Youth Services for current daily fees.

How do I start the admission process?

If you are a parent seeking voluntary placement for your child, please complete the online screening form. If your child meets the criteria for a Rawhide program, you will be given a link to the application materials.

How soon can I bring my son to Rawhide?

All youth must participate in an interview with a Rawhide intake worker prior to placement to ensure a proper fit to our program.

Admission dates vary depending on current openings and schedules, your options will be discussed with you at or after the interview.

I have MA or other insurance, will they pay for placement costs?

You must contact your insurance carrier directly as we are not an insurance provider. We typically do not bill separately for individual components of our programs as they are all included in our daily rates.

Are there other Rawhide facilities in other states?

At this time the New London campus is our only residential facility. We have outpatient counseling offices in Green Bay, Appleton, West Bend and Milwaukee.

Do you accept girls?

At this time our residential programs are for boys only. However, our Youth and Family Counseling Service works with boys, girls, youth, adults, and families on an outpatient basis.

Where and with whom do the young men live?

Students live in one of six homes on the Rawhide campus. Designed to provide housing for 6-7 students each, the living units are beautifully furnished, modern homes. Students live in single or double occupancy rooms each with a private bathroom. Consideration is carefully taken in selecting roommates as to provide the best possible match in personality and influence.

The living unit staff is comprised of an Unit Administrator, set of Houseparents (a married couple), Resident Instructors, Professional Youth Care Workers, and a Housekeeper. This family living model is designed to provide students with the opportunity to build character, social skills, housekeeping responsibilities, and personal care.

What kind of educational services are offered?

Staffed by state licensed teachers, Starr Academy, Rawhides private, on-grounds school, provides a core curriculum of academic and vocational courses.

Academic credits are generally transferable to other schools, or students may graduate with a high school diploma from Starr Academy. A high school equivalency degree program is also available to those students who are pursuing an alternative educational plan.

What therapeutic services are offered?

Individual, group, and family therapy is provided on a regular basis by Rawhide social workers. Equine Assisted Therapy may also be used with your child in addition to regular counseling sessions. Medication evaluations are scheduled as needed with the young man’s physician or a physician selected by Rawhide.

What types of extra-curricular activities are provided?

A variety of on- and off-grounds activities are available to the youth at Rawhide. Athletics, skate boarding, fishing, skiing, biking, boating, camping, woodworking, climbing, and movies are just a few of the options.

Student’s have the option to participate on Rawhide’s interscholastic basketball and track teams and compete against other area schools. In addition, boys may voluntarily attend church youth groups and take part in other Christian events including concerts, Lifest, and other presentations.

How are medical needs met?

Rawhide has a part-time nurse who supervises the storage and distribution of medications and medical supplies. The living unit staff handles administration of medications. Physicians chosen by the students family or by Rawhide provide medical care, including prescribed medications. Health, nutrition, and exercise are important elements of each students treatment process and are reinforced in the living units.

How would you describe the spiritual dimension of Rawhide?

Rawhide offers a variety of religious programs to give each young man a basis for pursuing or rejecting spiritual activities. Judeo-Christian ethics are modeled and taught. The Bible is referenced to as it relates to morals and values.

Youth groups and church attendance is encouraged with parental permission and is completely voluntary on the student’s part. Group and individual Bible studies are also available on a voluntary basis. Students are never pressured to believe something they do not want to believe. However, they are encouraged to respect the faith of others.

What personal belongings are the students allowed to have while at Rawhide?

Students may bring their own clothing to Rawhide (within certain guidelines). Young men in the About Face program are also issued uniforms.

Personal CD players, MP3 players, stereos, video games, and computers are not permitted. These items are supplied as necessary by Rawhide. All other personal items (wall posters, skateboards, bikes, athletic equipment, etc.), must be approved by the Unit Administrator prior to bringing it to the ranch.

How often can students visit their families and friends?

Family plays a vital role in restoration. Whenever possible the student’s parents or legal guardians are included in the treatment process. As young men experience love and discipline in a family setting, they develop a healthier self-image and a more positive view of life. The lessons learned in the Rawhide family are transferable to home and community life. Regular home visits are arranged to provide boys and their families with the opportunity to explore new and healthier ways of relating to each other.

What forms of discipline are used?

Responsibility for present behavior is emphasized. Family origin issues and experiences provide further understanding into a youth’s current behavior; however, the past is not to be an excuse for the present. Youth learn to face their problems honestly and resolve them in a positive manner. They are challenged to be truthful in their thoughts, constructive in their actions and respectful in their relationships.

Rawhide’s goal is to create a home, school, and work environment in which boys can realistically work on problems and ultimately achieve success. Rawhide’s treatment philosophy utilizes certain aspects of behavior modification and reality therapy. A “level” ranking system rewards positive behavior such as trustworthiness and responsibility.