Programs and Services
Emergency Care focuses on meeting the basic needs of the children so they can begin to feel safe and to heal. These needs include shelter in a homelike facility and 24-hour supervised care, balanced meals, healthy snacks, clothing and personal care items.
Counseling Services are available on-site, along with follow up services that are provided to the Children’s Shelter by a licensed counselor from Ozark Guidance.
Art Therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The creative process involved in expressing one’s self artistically can help people to resolve issues as well as develop and manage their behaviors and feelings, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem and awareness.
OT/PT/Speech helps our residents with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.
Case Management Our Case Management program is essential in the process of providing high quality care and hope for the future to the children served at the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter. Once each child is provided a safe and stable environment in which each child’s immediate and basic needs are met, everyone is treated with respect and has an opportunity to grow and progress. The Case Managers role begins with providing each child an individualized case plan. Managers oversee the process of assessing and addressing the physical, medical, dental, vision, developmental, emotional and therapeutic needs of each child.
Life Skills program provides instruction in essential skills that are important for any teen to develop. This is particularly critical education for teens in the foster care system, as they are often lacking key adult role models to teach them these skills. The topics covered in Life Skills include Violence and Conflict Management, Healthy Relationships, Self Esteem, Networking and Money Management, and Drop-Out Prevention. Teens at the shelter come out of these classes with the resources needed to continue their learning in each focused area and are armed with new tools to help them combat life’s ups and downs.
Cooking Matters is a new innovative hands-on nutrition education course that teaches participants how to select nutritious, low-cost ingredients and how to turn those ingredients into delicious and nutritious meals.
The Sophia Scott Expanding Horizons Program
The Sophia Scott Expanding Horizons Program gives children the opportunity to participate in fun activities that help them learn to manage fear and stress while also building self-esteem.
Camp Imagine summer camps allow our residents to enjoy something many kids look forward to in the summer … going to camp!
NWACS provides children a safe, nurturing environment to attend school with their on-site education program. The education program spares children who have been abused, abandoned and neglected the additional stress of starting a new school, as well as providing quality, individualized educational services. Students benefit from having small classroom sizes taught by state certified teachers who are trained in meeting the specialized classroom needs of children who have experienced trauma. All teachers and staff are trained to meet the unique emotional and social needs of a child in crisis. Training includes Conscious Discipline with compassion and Trust Based Relational Intervention with trauma informed classroom procedures.During a child’s stay at the shelter, their individualized education is a top priority. By law, children can remain at NWACS for up to 45 days in a 6 month period. Many children who come to the shelter have experienced significant educational setbacks or neglect. Immediately upon entering the classroom, certified teaching staff assess the child for any potential gaps, delays or learning difficulties. Any identified educational issues lead to the formation of a customized educational plan that will allow the child to be academically successful at their next school. NWACS’ low student-to-teacher ratio allows teachers to tailor instruction to each individual child’s needs, thus, providing students the opportunity to remediate instruction and catch up to their peers. For some of students, this may be their first positive experience in school. Positive educational experiences can lead to increased feelings of self-esteem and personal worth that many traumatized children lack.By allowing students to remain in the children’s shelter’s secure atmosphere, rather than attend a large public school, children acclimate to their new surroundings faster and gain a sense of security during a stressful transition time. While attending school on-site, students encounter familiar faces, expectations and surroundings. NWACS’ policy requires all employees to be trained in trauma awareness using two integrated behavior management systems, Conscious Discipline and Trust Based Relational Intervention (RBRI). This policy ensures that, regardless of who interacts with the child, their unique needs are understood and supported. Having a school integrated with the children’s shelter also eliminates logistical issues and distractions that would interrupt the child’s typical public school day. All of these on-site education advantages assist NWACS students to focus on their studies, as well as their healing.Our four multi-age classrooms serve Prekindergarten students through 12th grade. The three grade school classes are operated under the “umbrella” of the Bentonville Public Schools. All grade school coursework, while attending the shelter, contributes to the student’s overall grade. The classroom curriculums are based on the Arkansas Department of Education frameworks and the Common Core State Standards. In addition, we have a strong focus on foundational competencies in reading and math, while emphasizing STEM through our electives and bi-weekly educational field trips. Further, students also have access to the specialized services of a full-time, certified special education teacher, as well as speech, occupational and/or physical therapy.
Introduced in 2015, our preschool focuses on kindergarten readiness for some of our youngest learners. Taught by a state-certified early education teacher, our preschool adheres to the State of Arkansas’ guidelines for early childhood education and opens the doors for a lifelong love of learning for our residents ages 3-5.