Residential Treatment

Youth Residential Treatment Centers in North Dakota

At the Ranch, we provide two levels of residential treatment for children and adolescents—Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTF) and Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP). In both programs, family* involvement is vital to a child's success in completing treatment and achieving long-term recovery. By providing family therapy, coaching, parenting education, open communication, and support, the Ranch helps families address their own issues—both with the child and in other areas. Our goal is not to help kids be really good at living in treatment, but to help them be successful in their home environment. Open communication and working with families throughout the treatment process leads to lasting recovery.

*"Family" or "parent" includes children's biological families, adoptive families, guardians, foster families, or "fictive kin," (non-biologically connected people who support and care for the child. 

Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTF)

Children needing a high level of care are best cared for at one of our Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTF) in Minot, Bismarck, or Fargo, ND. Our multi-disciplinary teams provide specialized programming and therapy for children with chronic psychiatric and behavioral health issues.  In addition to basic living needs and psychiatric care, children in this program receive therapy, medical care, occupational therapy, an individualized education through Dakota Memorial School, wellness and recreational services, and robust spiritual life activities. 

My grandson was at the Ranch when he was 16, and I believe Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch was our family's last hope. We had tried everything for him and nothing worked. The Ranch opened his eyes, taught him valuable things, and helped save his life.

Grandmother of former resident

What Parents & Guardians Need to Know About PRTF's.

  • Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities are available for children ages 10-18.
  • At the Ranch, children have access to resources they can't get anywhere else. Our on-site clinical staff includes therapists, nurses, psychologists, addiction counselors, occupational therapists, and a psychiatrist.
  • We work with outside providers to offer professional medical, dental, and vision care for our children.
  • Our Youth Care Workers, highly trained to provide trauma-informed care, are with the children day and night—accompanying them to on and off-campus appointments, going with them to school, taking them on community outings, playing games with them, listening to their concerns, and watching over them at night.
  • While in residential treatment at the Ranch, most children attend Dakota Memorial School, a trauma-sensitive school geared to meet the complex learning needs of children who have psychiatric, behavioral, and trauma issues.
  • We surround our precious children with the care, love, and support they need to live, learn, heal, grow, and become their best selves.

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Ariel's Story

Ariel, a former Ranch resident, is back at the Ranch with a unique opportunity to help kids who struggle with many of the same challenges she did. Ariel has worked directly with our kids, on the Facilities Maintenance team, and is now working as the Marketing and Content Specialist for our Thrift Stores, raising awareness and helping to raise funds for the wraparound care we provide. "I am grateful that I was a resident," Ariel said. "I'm grateful for the skills I developed while I was at the Ranch. I see how it helps me now as an adult." Ariel believes in the kids at the Ranch and appreciates the opportunity she has to make their lives better. "These kids deserve every chance in the world to have a restart at life."

Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP or Group Foster Care)

Our Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP), located in Fargo and Minot, ND, provide a less acute level of care for children who need a safe place to live and supportive services. In addition to providing for children’s basic needs of food and shelter, the children have access to psychiatric care, therapy, recreational and wellness activities, occupational therapy, education at Dakota Memorial School, and spiritual life activities. Most of the children in the QRTP level of care have a history of trauma, abuse, and foster care placements. 

A QRTP is perfect for children who are able to succeed in an environment less structured than that of the PRTF. In many cases, transitional services at the QRTP’s provide support for children as they transition back home and into the community. In other cases, our independent living program assists residents as they transition to adulthood. 

In addition to a safe place to live with best-in-class psychiatric care, medical care, occupational therapy, and education, children in our residential programs have access to our Spiritual Life program.

While most of the children living at the Ranch attend Dakota Memorial School, our on-campus school, some children attend their local public school. 

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Christ-centered Care

Children at the Ranch hear the Gospel and learn of Christ's love for them through chapel services, spiritual life groups, individual mentoring with our Chaplain and Deaconesses, and daily interactions with Ranch employees. We bring Christ's presence to our work by showing up, being fully there, listening, abiding, completing, and surrounding our children with an atmosphere of faith. Our Spiritual Life Program allows our children to find an anchor in the storm. By understanding Christ’s message, they adopt a new set of values and ways to interact with the world that will help them succeed. While the Ranch's Spiritual Life program is rooted in Lutheranism, we promote principles of respect, acceptance, and character-building that are common to all faiths; and collaborate closely with hundreds of churches across the nation.


Horse Program

When kids have been traumatized by abuse, neglect, or abandonment, horse therapy (also called equine-assisted therapy) can help them open their hearts again. 

Most Ranch children are here because they have been wounded by someone who was supposed to care for them and love them. To protect themselves, they shun physical and emotional closeness with other people. Because horses offer a pure, nonjudgmental relationship, our kids can often accept physical and emotional closeness from a horse. With their horse, they don’t have to worry about rejection or criticism. We work with local stables so our kids can develop a relationship with a horse, which gives them a chance to understand how trusting and opening their hearts can change their lives—and requires them to exercise patience, understanding, attention, forgiveness, and consistency; abilities they will find useful throughout their lives. 



What is residential treatment?

Residential treatment is a safe place for children to live, learn, and heal. At the Ranch, children receive in-house psychiatry, psychology, therapy, education, occupational therapy, spiritual life, and medical care to heal from the trauma and mental health challenges they've experienced.

How can residential treatment help my child?

In residential treatment facilities, children find a structured and safe environment where they can heal from mental and behavioral health issues, such as anxiety and depression, suicidal thoughts and actions, self-harm, and aggression.

Why would a child need residential treatment?

Residential treatment is for children who have experienced severe trauma due to abuse, neglect, violence, and other adverse experiences; and/or who are experiencing severe mental health and behavioral challenges.

Can I voluntarily place my child in residential treatment?

Yes, parents who are concerned about their child's mental health and well-being can refer their child for residential treatment.

How is residential treatment paid for?

Treatment Services are typically covered under Private Health Insurance Plans and/or State Programs. If Deductibles, Co-Insurance, or Recipient Liability apply, our dedicated team of Billing Specialists work with client families to establish a payment plan for any out-of-pocket expenses. Prior to entering treatment, client families will have an opportunity to discuss insurance coverage and state programs with a Billing Specialist along with addressing any concerns or questions regarding financial responsibility.

Is Residential Treatment right for your child? 

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Contact Us Today

1227 35th St. N.
Bismarck, ND 58501
Phone: 701-221-5323 
Fax: 701-551-6838

Universal Application for Placement