Northwest Counseling and Guidance



The Northwest Counseling and Guidance Clinic provides residential assessment and residential treatment facilities for children, conventional, fee-for-service, community-based outpatient mental health services, children’s mental health day treatment, telephone and mobile services for persons experiencing a crisis within contracting counties and daily living skills/mentoring services.

The Portage County Special Needs mentoring program services children all over Portage County. The office is located within the Portage County Health and Human Services building at 817 Whiting Ave in Stevens Point.

The office is open:

Monday: 8:00am - 4:30pm,

Tuesday: 8:00am - 6:00pm,

Wednesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm,

Thursday: 8:00am - 4:30pm

Friday: 8:00am - 3:00pm.

Mentoring services are typically provided M-F after school and/or weekends.

History & Funding:

In 1978, three staff from a mental health hospital in Minneapolis started Northwest Passage, Ltd. Wanting to provide a more homelike and individualized service to children, the residential services started out small and have grown into four unique residential programs. After receiving several requests to provide transitional services within the community, in 1994, Northwest Passage developed its first children’s mental health day treatment program. The mentoring program in Portage County was established in April of 2012 and is the second mentoring program within NWCGC.

Third party payers (Private Insurance or Medical Assistance) fund over 95% of our clients (Companywide). The services provided for clients in the mentoring program are usually paid for through CLTS (Children’s Long Term Support) Waivers or the CCS (Comprehensive Community Services) Program.

The program is evaluated by the clients and their families via surveys that are sent out when the client is done with the mentoring program.

Interaction with community:

The mentor and the mentoring program becomes part of the child’s team and efforts are made to ensure that updates and information flows between the mentors, child/families and the County. Clients are referred to the mentoring program by their special needs social workers.

The Mentor meets with a designated youth in a structured partnership that focuses on the needs of the mentored participants while fostering a supportive and positive relationship. Within the mentoring relationship, the goal will be for the Mentor to facilitate and promote connections to the youth’s natural supports in his/her community and encourage independence in daily living skills. In some cases, mentors are involved in their youths IEP meetings for support.

By: Lauren Gurholt