Generally, a child is referred through local, county or state Departments of Social Services,Departments of Mental Health or education agencies. Requirements for placement consideration include: a recent clinical assessment of the individual, a social history, an Individual Education Plan and current medical/dental and psychological information. Upon receipt of materials, a pre-placement screening may be scheduled. An on-site visit is desirable; however, a screening at the individual’s home or school can be arranged. For out-of-Wisconsin placements, the requirements of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) must be met.
Genesee Lake School's Health Services Department will tend to your child’s routine health problems. They will also escort your child on visits to dentists, optometrists and other medical professionals, depending on your child’s needs. In the event of more serious illness, your child will receive the level of care necessary to treat the condition, including hospitalization if needed. Your child’s clinical specialist will keep you updated on medical events and you will be informed as soon as possible in the case of an emergency.
It is our philosophy to use a minimal amount of behavioral medication, while recognizing its importance in addressing certain psychiatric conditions. Your child will be assigned to our consulting psychiatrist, who will review your child’s status on a regular basis. The decision to use medication will be arrived at by a multidisciplinary team as a whole, which will include input from the family.
We encourage families to call and visit their children on a regular basis. Designated days and time periods are established for calls to/from your child. Due to the necessity of providing a secure environment for our children, all visits must be arranged beforehand.
Children can make visits home, depending on the approval of the caseworker (if this is a court placement) and your child’s progress toward achieving therapeutic goals. Generally, there are on-site visits prior to off-grounds and overnight visits to allow the child time to adjust to the new environment. This also helps you to get to know ODTC and helps us to become familiar with your family.
Whenever possible, we encourage families to take their children home for the major holidays. Additionally, there are some extended school breaks in the spring and summer.
Holidays are an important part of a child’s life, and we try to make the experience rich and meaningful for them. Some examples of Genesee Lake School's holiday observances include education about our nation’s heritage such as Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Special activities may also be planned for other holidays such as exchanging hand-made cards with their friends on Valentine’s Day, “trick-or-treating” around the building in costumes on Halloween and enjoying a turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving. Of course, the most elaborate celebrations occur during the Winter Holidays. Our residents will help decorate their classrooms and units and prepare a holiday program which families will be invited to attend. They will also receive a personal visit from Santa Claus, who delivers gifts to all GLS children (whether they’ve been “naughty or nice”). GLS also observes each child’s birthday with a gift and a small party. We also respect the fact that some families may not be comfortable having their child participate in the observance of certain holidays.
The length of time in placement varies on an individual basis. Typically, the average length of stay is 18 to 24 months. Discharge planning begins as soon as your child enters GLS. Within a month of admission, the clinical specialist will write an Individual Treatment Plan, which is a list of goals specifically targeting a child’s problematic behaviors. Quarterly, an Individual Treatment Plan Review will occur describing your child’s progress toward meeting these goals. You will receive copies of these reports as they are completed. A transition/discharge plan will be identified and coordinated by the child’s primary clinical specialist that suits the needs of your child and your family. This plan includes active participation by the referring agent, parents/guardian, other family members and collateral contacts.
We have a large gymnasium, outdoor courtyards and adjacent playgrounds. Each resident will have an opportunity to participate in physical exercise. Additionally, your child may be able to join in a variety of team sports. Many of our residents also proudly take part in the Special Olympics each year.