35-Day Evaluation Program

Evergreen offers a 35-day Evaluation Program for youth ages 9-17  in cooperation with mental health providers, including North Homes, Inc., and Independent Licensed Psychologist, Collin Heglund.  We offer a risk-free pre-assessment to test whether a child is a fit for our program.  The child may stay for two days at no charge to meet our staff and see if our Shelter's structure is a fit.  Youth must be referred by a county or tribe.

We have witnessed firsthand the positive and powerful impact of our Evaluation Program on youth and their families.  Our program features:

  • Least restrictive environments for intensive evaluation.  Youth interact with adults and peers in a natural, family-like setting.  Youth attend school, do chores, eat family-style meals, do homework, socialize with peers, participate in recreational activities, and more. This results in a realistic assessment of a child's social skills, self-care and independent living skills.
  • Staff focus on establishing strong working relationships with youth and parents. While youth build assets, gain skills, and develop self-esteem, staff coach parents on communication and effective parenting roles and skills.  We are committed to providing intensive family reunification work. Shelter aftercare is unlimited.  Caregivers can receive free ongoing support from the Shelter team 24 hours a day for as long as necessary.
  • The program is strengths-based—staff are supportive, positive, and challenge youth to develop to their full potential, while identifying assets, strengths, and abilities.
  • We care about the preferences of youth, their families, and placing agents. The insights of all parties provide a foundation for the program to build on.
  • We help assess whether behaviors are learned, situational, or manifest an underlying psychological disorder.  Can home be safe? What actually works with the child? What resources and supports will help this child succeed?  Shelter staff provide powerful behavior management recommendations that promote permanent placements and offer resources and support to help your child succeed.
  • Shelter staff pursue target issues through interactive journals, daily groups, and individual counseling. Youth gain insight and learn skills and values.

Psychological testing is only part of the picture. Shelter staff have over 100 years of combined youth experience.  They can manage challenging youth and will test a variety of behavior management techniques to discover what works. In addition, the Shelter team gathers information on the child's history and family dynamics. While psychologists explain theory, Shelter staff describe behaviors and patterns anecdotally. Deep insights are combined with highly practical recommendations. Parents and placing agents have a clear idea of the changes needed…and how to get there.

Placing Agents will receive a thorough, well researched social history to contextualize formative or traumatic events in a child's life.  The social history can assist providers in identifying and assessing relatives and other significant persons who may be available to serve as caregivers.

Judges, placing agents, and parents have told us we have an incredible program. Here is what they've said about our Program:

"The children to be assessed live at the Evergreen Shelter in a safe environment where they feel free to be themselves. The staff are willing to adapt and customize the evaluation according to the unique issues presented by the child and requirements of the service providers. Recommendations made by the assessment team are insightful and realistic and take into account the resources that will be available to the child in their home community."

Tim Arneson, Guardian ad Litem


"The relationship with my son improved more in 2 months at Evergreen than in the prior 2 years. The progress he made was amazing."

Mother of a Thirteen Year Old, Deer River, MN


"I haven't seen an evaluation this thorough in years, many years."

A Beltrami County Social Worker


Visit and Tour our Shelter

Don't take our word for it…come visit and tour our Shelter.  We'll be happy to discuss our full continuum of services in more detail.  If you have a challenging youth on your caseload and are looking for a quality evaluation that can help with tough placement decisions, please give us a call.  If you're a parent and wonder if you can keep your child at home safely (for him or her and others in the family), we are here to help.  We would enjoy the opportunity to work with you to create the best possible future for each youth.

To Apply

If your child is working with a county or tribe, please contact your child's worker to ask about evaluation services and request a referral.   If you need assistance in applying for our evaluation services, please contact Shelter Program Director, Gary Russell, at 218-441-4567 or grussell@evergreenyfs.org.