Northwoods Alliance for Children and Families
Forest, Langdale, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, and Vilas Counties, Wisconsin
The goal of the Alliance is “to create and sustain a regional integrated system of care that will successfully meet the complex needs of troubled and at-risk children and youth and their families.” The objectives developed by the Alliance to achieve this goal are to establish a regional governance structure to coordinate interagency and inter-county cooperation, support the development of local and intersystem family advocacy organizations, develop a fiscal management system that will ensure equitable distribution of resources, design a distributive information and resource access network, increase existing service capacity and infrastructure, and create a self-sustaining inter-organizational structure and funding process that will not be grant dependent.
The catchment area for the Northwoods Alliance is six, largely rural counties in north-central Wisconsin covering 6,323 square miles with a total population of 224,060. Oneida, Vilas, and Forest Counties make up the northern tri-county region serviced by the Human Services Center. This region includes the city of Rhinelander and the Lac du Flambeau, Sokaogon Chippewa, and Forest County Potawatomi Native American tribes. It has a population of 58,162, which is approximately 26 percent of the total catchment area population. Marathon, Langlade, and Lincoln counties make up the southern tri-county region serviced by the North Central Community Services Program. This region includes the city of Wausau and has a combined population of 165,898, which is approximately 74 percent of the total catchment area population. Caucasians comprise 97 percent of the six-county population. The Native American population living in the six-county area is approximately 3,700. The target population for the Northwoods Alliance for Children and Families is children with serious emotional disturbance and their families who reside in one of the six counties or three tribes in the catchment area; are between 0 and 18 years of age (or up to 21 if the child is receiving Wisconsin Medicaid and is being served through the school system); have a formal DSM–IV diagnosis that prevents functioning in the family, school, or community, requires multi-agency services, and is of at least a 12-month duration; and are at risk of out-of-home placement if intensive community-based services are not provided. According to the annual report, a total of 106 children were served by the Alliance in 2001, up from 79 in 1999. Forty-two of the 106, or 40 percent, were served in the northern tri-county region, up from 22 children served in 1999. Sixty-four of the 106, or 60 percent, were served in the southern tri-county region, up from 57 served in 1999.