Positive Alternatives, Inc.
is a private non-profit,
community based, multi-service
organization. The agency provides
programming for teens and families throughout Wisconsin and
In October 1974, Alpha House Youth Care,
Inc., a 501(c)3, non-profit corporation was
developed. With a federal grant, Alpha
House group home for adolescents opened it's
doors for the first time in Menomonie, WI.
Although the agency changed the corporation name
in July, 1996 to Positive Alternatives, Inc., the
group home retained the program name of Alpha
Alpha House is licensed by the State of
Wisconsin as an eight bed group foster home for
male and female youth between the ages of 12 and
17 years old. The group home provides room
and board, supervision, structure, counseling and
recreational opportunities for the
Alpha House accepts referrals
from all Wisconsin Departments of Human Social
Services and county Juvenile Intake. Funding for Alpha House is obtained
primarily through contracts with the referring
of 2006 a second group home was opened in River Falls.
This facility moved into a new home in October of 2008 and has a
In l979 the services of the TeenCare
Crisis Intervention Program (formerly Bifrost) were added.
TeenCare is one of 22 programs in the state of Wisconsin
designed to assist youth on-the-run or at-risk of running away.
The program is funded by State and Federal Grants, donations and
TeenCare provides services to six
counties in West Central Wisconsin including
Dunn, Barron, Pepin, Pierce, Polk and St.
Croix. Youth can be self-referred to
TeenCare or be referred by the police, social
services, school staff or family members.
TeenCare is a member of the Wisconsin Association
for Runaway Services (WAHRS), the National Run-away Switchboard
and National Safe Place.
The Menomonie School Mentoring Program
found it's way to Positive Alternatives in l997. The
mentoring program matches students in grades
Kindergarten through eighth grade with positive
role models from the community.
meets with the youth for one hour a week during
the school day, on school grounds for the purpose
of providing encouragement, support and
friendship. The success of this program is
representative of the strong collaborative
between Positive Alternatives and the Menomonie Area School
Youth can be referred to this
program by a teacher, school counselor or
parent. This program is designed to assist
students who are struggling with some aspect of
the educational process (i.e. absenteeism,
failing grades, and/or struggling
The Menomonie School
Mentoring Program is funded by the United Way,
donations and the Menomonie Area School
Districts. During the 2006-2007 school year additional
money was received from Dunn County United Way to expand the
mentoring services to the high school.
Positive Alternatives grew again in l998
with the addition of the Dunn County Juvenile
Community Service Program. This program
supports the youth of Dunn County who have court
ordered community service hours. There are
numerous non-profit and government agencies in
Dunn County that have agreed to serve as
P.A. oversee the youth-worksite
match until the completion of the court ordered
hours for each youth. P.A. also offers
these clients work skill and job seeking
classes. Through this program, P.A. hopes
to encourage adolescents to become connected with
their community, develop responsible attitudes,
give back to community and develop work skills
and/or interests. This program is funded by
a contract with Dunn County Department of Human
Positive Alternatives took on two
new programs in 1999, the Sandcastles Program in
September and the Dunn County Juvenile
Detention and Electronic Monitoring Programs in
Sandcastles is a nationally recognized
program to help children cope with their parents'
divorce. Children participate in small,
interactive groups with others their own
age. The program is designed to help children understand
and cope with the feelings in a safe and supportive
environment with other children who are experiencing
divorce. Parents attend also, in their own group to
discuss co-parenting and how to help children through this
Detention and Electronic Monitoring offer a secure alternative
in a non-secure setting. The program monitors compliance
with guidelines, curfew and school attendance.
The STATAS Program also began in 1999 as a small
support program for youth who were habitually truant. The
program has grown to encompass a variety of issues including
truancy, poor grades, family or community issues, drug and alcohol
issues, and anger or relationship issues.
The program is designed
to provide intensive, short-term intervention and
support for youth, ages 10-17, and their families
which satisfies supervision and public safety
issues while allowing the families to remain
intact. Youth meet with their case manager a minimum of 4
hours per week.
They are also monitored and supported
daily via phone calls and visits to ensure school
attendance, and compliance with the program
guidelines. Youth are court ordered to this program or
referred by county social workers or schools. Dunn County Department of Human
Services contracts for this service.
is excited to offer this program to surrounding counties (in
July 2006 the program is currently serving youth in Dunn, St.
Croix, Pierce, Pepin and Barron Counties).
office will be located in River Falls to assist with program
accessibility for surrounding counties as needed.
2002, Alpha House began to offer Day Supervision. This was
created for those youth who have been suspended or expelled from
school and need someone to supervise their temporary educational
This has also been utilized as a consequence for
those youth not completing court ordered requirements.
Hours and expectations vary depending on the client and the
situation. The group home also added the availability of
educational after-school groups. Groups are held after school
and include Corrective Thinking, Positive Relationships, AODA
issues, Social Issues and Independent Living.
Positive Alternatives, Inc. is always
open to and exploring opportunities to better
serve the at-risk youth population and their