Family-living environment for at-risk youth.

If you or a youth you care about will be enrolling in Rawhide’s Residential Care Program, you likely have questions. Here you’ll find answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Don’t see your question? Contact us at any time.

Residential Care Program FAQs

How do I get my at-risk youth into Rawhide?

Our youth are placed by the county or state, which is responsible for the cost of youth placements. 

A county court order is required to place a youth in Rawhide’s residential program.           

Youth are interviewed individually through our intake process. Rawhide staff gathers information about the youth via intake forms and phone calls with the referring agency, youth and family/guardian of the youth to ensure all needs can be met.

What if the teen I know isn’t ready to go to a residential placement but we think is heading that way?

Rawhide offers various forms of therapy at our counseling centers in Appleton, De Pere, Fond du Lac, Glendale, Milwaukee, Neenah, New London, Oshkosh, and Shiocton. Our highly trained, licensed therapists can help set youth on a better path. For more information on our other programs and services, visit our website.

Who pays for my youth to participate in the Residential Care Program?

Those referring the youth to our Residential Care Program, such as the placing agency (county/state), are responsible for payment.

Is there a sliding scale or will they be accepted if we cannot afford?

We do not offer scholarships or sliding scales. Cost per day is determined by the state, and covers housing, clothes, food, individualized education, individual and group therapy, medication evaluations, on-call nursing staff, and/or living unit supervision.

What does the Residential Care Program include?

Our Residential Care Program includes education at our fully accredited school, Starr Academy; socialization skills, mental and behavioral health treatment with a licensed therapist through individual, family, group or equine therapy, life skills instruction (e.g., chores, self-care, simple food prep, time management, and more); cafeteria that offers three meals a day; work experience and job training programs; and spiritual guidance (optional). It also includes family integration therapy or referrals, ongoing case management, medication administration and monitoring, and 24/7 supervision and care with a safe, family-centered structure.

Why won’t Badgercare cover my child’s Rawhide residential program?

Our youth are placed by the county or state, which is responsible for the cost of youth placements. 

A county court order is required to place a youth in Rawhide’s residential program.  

What makes an appropriate candidate to Rawhide?

Youth are court-ordered by the county or state to partake in the Rawhide Residential Care Program. This program helps treat youth ages 11-18 who struggle with Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Depression, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA), victims of abuse and/or neglect, Conduct Disorder (CD), Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) and other forms of mental illness. These are youth who require a structured environment, education, and mental health support.

How long is the typical duration of stay?

On average, most youth are with us for 6-9 months, depending on the youth’s needs and what the county or state decide. However, some have been with us as short as one month or as long as two years.

Why can’t my child come home every weekend?

Most youth are allowed to go on home visits to family or guardians, but depend on the youth’s treatment. Parents/guardians, Rawhide staff/case managers, and the courts can discuss a plan for home visits that may vary based on the youth’s progress and therapeutic needs.

What is the educational background of your therapists working with youth?

All of our therapists have master’s degrees and are trained in multiple evidenced-based treatment interventions, such as TF-CBT, DBT, CBT, equine-assisted therapy, alcohol and drug prevention, and more.

What types of therapy are offered?

Our team of highly skilled, licensed therapists offers compassionate therapy using a variety of evidence-based approaches tailored to individual, group or family needs to address the whole person: spiritual, cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and social. Our therapists guide youth as they work through their anger, anxiety, depression, abuse, trauma, suicidal thoughts, and more.

What kind of AODA or sex offender emphasis is integrated in a program, if needed?

Rawhide offers Alcohol and Drug Abuse (AODA) therapy and a has a dedicated home on campus to support the treatment needs of youth sex offenders (YSO). Youth in our YSO program participate in multiple therapy sessions per week and utilize the Pathways curriculum, outside of participating in standard residential care programming. Youth with AODA needs are given the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI) with individual needs addressed based on the assessment.

Will my teen’s school credits transfer?

Yes, Starr Academy is fully accredited by Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Accreditation (WRISA).  All high school credits earned while attending Starr Academy are fully transferable to any Wisconsin public or private school. Students who complete their coursework while at Rawhide participate in a graduation event personalized to them.

What if the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is expired, are your staff Local Education Agency (LEA) designated to develop one or would they follow last years?

If an IEP has expired, we can work with the LEA to develop a new one but we do not create new IEP’s or develop initial ones for youth that never had one.

My child has been ordered by the courts to complete a 30-Day Assessment. Does Rawhide conduct this assessment?

No, Rawhide does not conduct these 30-day assessments.

What kind of nutrition will my child receive while living on the Rawhide campus?

Our staff at the Café 15 building make nutritious, substantial, and delicious meals daily for all youth. 

What should my son bring?

Youth in our Residential Care Program should not bring anything because we provide everything they will need, including clothes. Our Group Home placements can bring clothing and some personal items, which should be discussed and approved with the Intake Specialist prior to arrival. County and state placing agencies will receive an intake packet for documentation for all youth admitted to our program. 

Do youth have to be religious to come to Rawhide?

No, we respect all religious beliefs and practices. Any religious activities available on campus, such as prayer or youth ministry opportunities, are optional. We just ask that youth are respectful of others who choose to take part in such activities. Youth interested in our Young Life ministry options will learn about building a relationship with Jesus Christ and how it can help them heal and make healthier life choices. 

What kind of experience does Rawhide staff have?

Every staff member who works at Rawhide is passionate about helping the youth we serve. Most professionals who work at Rawhide have college degrees and receive initial training to be completed within six months of being hired. This includes training in developmental care, trauma-informed care, crisis intervention, suicide prevention/self-harm awareness, first aid/CPR, permanency planning, and more.

Many staff have experienced their own past struggles with mental health and trauma, which has led them down a path of service to others. Staff who have had similar experiences to youth are often the safe adults youth feel most comfortable with because they feel understood and know the adult can relate to their experiences.

What are the demographics of residents at Rawhide?

See page 26 of our 2023 Annual Report for a full list of demographics of the youth living on our New London and Peshtigo campuses.

What is the atmosphere like on the Rawhide campus?

While our New London campus is secluded to the woods, there are multiple roads and buildings, including residential homes, a school and a cafeteria, giving it a small community or college campus feel. Some activities youth typically enjoy on a daily or weekly basis include, but are not limited to, basketball (indoor and outdoor), flag football, fishing (ice fishing), swimming, weightlifting, skateboarding, building forts, drawing, playing music, reading, and playing games. Our 714-acre campus allows for youth to rejuvenate and heal from their struggles through nature and other safe environmental factors. Youth can also participate in equine-assisted therapy or work experience program.

Can my child get a job while working through the Rawhide Residential Program?

Yes, the goal is for all residential youth ages 14 or older to have the opportunity for on-campus employment. If the youth’s treatment determines that on-campus employment would benefit the youth, they would complete an application and go through an interview process to determine the best fit. Group home residents are able to obtain employment off-campus. To learn more about our Job Training Program, visit our website.

What vocational options are available?

Youth have an opportunity to participate in our Work Exchange Program (WEP) for jobs on and off campus, based on their interests and progress/improvement in their residential program. They can participate in the following vocations:

Grounds Crew Workers: Youth work with our youth development specialists to learn how to help with daily tasks on our New London campus, including cutting wood and maintain wood pile, donating wood to families in need, cleaning indoor and outdoor areas, moving offices or furniture for staff, organizing storage space, cutting grass, landscaping/snow removal, off-campus community service projects, and more. 

Barn/Equine Worker: Youth work closely with our experienced equine team in the barn with opportunities to learn proper nutrition for the horses, monitoring supplies for the barn, facilities maintenance, minor barn and equipment repairs, clean equipment, equine training, removing manure, and more.

Facilities Custodial Worker: Youth work with our facilities team on campus to help with custodial tasks, such as how to safely work with cleaning products, learn the principles of cross contamination, how to properly sanitize areas, empty garbage and recycling cans, clean offices and bathrooms, and more.

Café 15 Kitchen Worker: Youth work with our food service specialists where they will learn how to food prep, properly clean the kitchen, dishes and more.

Pennau Prep Center: Youth learn basic car care and maintenance, including detailing, changing oil, basic body repair, repairing tires, fixing brakes, and engine tune-ups.

Youth also have the opportunity, depending on age and program goals, to participate in our unique, hands-on Job Training Program. In this program, youth earn academic credits all while exploring career options in the automotive, culinary, and welding industries. Learn more here.

What can I expect when my child returns home? In what ways will we be supported?

Throughout your youth’s program, parents/guardians will be involved in family therapy sessions, phone calls, treatment reviews, etc. to ensure all parties are prepared for their return home. Rawhide also provides aftercare services for up to six months after a youth is discharged. This can include phone calls and visits with the youth’s case manager or other Rawhide staff.

Contact us for more information about Rawhide's residential services.

This residential program is available only for court-referred youth; parents cannot directly place their youth into this setting.