TeenCare is a prevention service including a 24-hour hotline and short term shelter/crisis intervention designed to serve youth. Our mission is to provide runaways, throwaways, and youth in crisis with safe shelter, assist in resolving family conflicts, and to reunite families whenever possible.
TeenCare is governed by the Wisconsin Association of Homeless and Runaway Services (WAHRS) and is staffed with the help of Americorps. TeenCare is also partnered with Dunn County Partnership for Youth.
The program offers:
Confidential 24/7 Hotline: 1-800-491-TEEN (8336)
The hotline is available to any parent, youth, or concerned person on a 24-hour basis. All hotline callers will talk with a trained staff member. There are normally three types of calls received on the hotline: individuals who just need to vent regarding an issue or situation; individuals who are looking for information such as a phone number or resources available; and parents or youth who are looking for further immediate services given a crisis situation.
Temporary Shelter (maximum of 14 days)
Youth in crisis, on the run, or pushed out of their home possibly need a place to stay if, for one reason or another, they cannot or will not go home. TeenCare provides temporary emergency shelter through a volunteer crisis home. The crisis home shelters the youth overnight and then the youth returns to Positive Alternatives in the morning. During the daytime hours, youth work with a youth advocate on the issues going on in their life (home, school, friends, etc.) that brought them to call the hotline and utilize shelter services. The goal of the shelter program is to work with the youth on creating a plan to deal with the presenting issues/crisis and prepare the youth to meet with the parents at a family meeting at the end of their shelter (average is 2-3 days) to create a plan for the youth to return home.
Walk In Counseling/Advocacy
If a youth does not need shelter, it is possible for them to meet with a youth advocate as often as needed (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) to work with the youth on creating a plan to deal with the presenting issues and identify resources available to them. These meetings can take place at school, a library, or another public setting.
TeenCare staff offers presentations to all middle and high schools in their six county service area on a variety of topics related to youth. Topics include but are not limited to: Teen Stressors, AODA, Bullying, Cyber bullying, Dating Violence, Self-Injury, Tolerance, and Teens and Technology. All youth attending presentations are given information regarding the TeenCare services available to them. Staff also participate in community events/festivals where there is an opportunity to interact with youth either one-on-one or in small groups.