Youth who participate in Wilderness and Adventure-based Therapeutic Outdoor Services expand individual capabilities, develop self-confidence and insight, ameliorate symptoms, and improve interpersonal skills and relationships.
Examples: Program activity participation requirements can include whether (1) the program has a “challenge by choice” philosophy, (2) youth will be required to complete all or most elements of the experience, or (3) alternative activities can be used to accomplish the same goals to ensure that the person granting informed consent understands in advance this feature of the program.
The organization engages youth and their families and/or legal guardians in an admission process that includes:
helping youth and their families to understand the reasons for admission;
preparing youth to join the program, and providing a pre-admission visit whenever possible;
obtaining written, informed consent from parents or legal guardians and, whenever possible, youth; and
adherence to intake criteria, assessment requirements, and procedures for group integration, whenever admissions are expedited.
The organization describes:
personal items youth may bring with them, consistent with a safe, therapeutic setting;
items that are discouraged or prohibited; and
any safety procedures the program follows, or consequences that can result, when prohibited items are brought to the program site.
Given the rise in information and communication technologies, organizations must specify in their admission materials what electronic devices are permitted and prohibited.