Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a Christ-centered residential treatment and educational center for children and their families. The residential environment at the Ranch provides a safe place for children to practice new skills and transition the learning to their community and home environment. Because Ranch staff work so closely together, the children can practice new skills and tools in therapy, at school, and in the residential environment.
Most children arrive at the Ranch having experienced significant trauma in their lives. We weave trauma-informed practices into all residential and educational programs. Employees are trained to understand the impact of trauma on children from the neurological, biological, psychosocial, and social perspectives. We screen and assess all children for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and provide specialized trauma therapies when the children and their families are ready.
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 work with families throughout the treatment process leads to lasting recovery.
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.
Police officer David Carlson turned his life around at the Ranch. Now he is helping other kids do the same. As a Police Trust Officer, David works with at-risk kids in the community. And no one is better qualified. David is a former resident and staff member who worked at the Ranch for six years. He has a genuine understanding of what kids at the Ranch are going through. "I was in their shoes," David says. So I know how they feel. I can say, 'Hey, listen, you made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. You can move on from this.'"
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.
While most of the children living at the Ranch attend Dakota Memorial School, our on-campus school, some children attend their local public school.
In addition to a safe place to live with best-in-class psychiatric care, medical care, and education, children in both residential programs, PRTF and QRTP, have access to our Spiritual Life, Horse, and Mini-bike programs.
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a Christ-centered ministry.
When kids have been traumatized by abuse, neglect, or abandonment, horse therapy (also called equine-assisted psychotherapy) can help them open their hearts again. Learn more about our Horse Program.
Our Mini-bike Program puts kids together with caring adults and a mini-bike, capturing our kids' imaginations and enthusiasm to promote healing and build responsibility. Learn more about our mini-bike program.
To apply for Residential Placement, complete the Universal Application by clicking on "Start Application" below.