Short-Term Treatment

Intensive Treatment Programs (ITPs) at Wisconsin State Centers (PDF, 1.6 MB)

Providing an array of services aimed at short-term intensive treatment.


Southern Wisconsin Center provides residential care and treatment to Wisconsin citizens with developmental disabilities when this care cannot be provided through local human service agencies.

Southern Wisconsin Center strives to prepare individuals for integration into community living. It works individually and in cooperation with other agencies to provide support to families of persons diagnosed with developmental disabilities. SWC also provides education and training services to area communities to enhance the capacity of community providers in serving people with developmental disabilities.

Criteria for Admission

  • Referred by county case manager
  • Demonstrated need for active treatment per ICF-MR regulations, determined through SWC pre-admission screen
  • Chapter 55-Protective Placement order for locked unit
  • Compliance with all ICF-MR pre-admission documentation requirements
  • Written authorization from county of responsibility, assuming fiscal liability
  • Documented discharge plan in place

Short-Term Care Services

The short-term care intensive treatment program at SWC has a 17-bed capacity.

The goal of the program is to provide an array of services aimed at short-term, intensive treatment for people with challenging behaviors, medical and/or nursing conditions or other conditions in order to return individuals to a community setting as soon as possible.

From 2003-2005, the program served 56 people; up 10 clients from the previous two year period. Of those discharged during this time, the average stay was 144 days; down 15. The shortest stay was 2 days; down 11 days from the previous reporting period. With an increase of 62, the longest stay was 676 days.

SWC no longer admits on a long-term basis.

Why Short-term Care?

Since the late 1990's counties were requesting short-term admission services to address emergent crises which resulted in admissions to private mental health units in community hospitals or one of the state mental health institutes. Counties indicated that mental health services were not always the most appropriate way to address a crisis situation for people with developmental disabilities.

The state centers for people with developmental disabilities developed the Future of Center Plan designed to provide a Short-term care program in order to respond to crisis needs in the community.

In August of 2000, SWC began to pilot the concept and has admitted individuals when an extreme need exists and other resources are not available.

Upon admission, the individual is assessed and within the first 10 days, the SWC Interdisciplinary Team develops an individualized treatment plan. A team meeting 10 days after admission focuses on implementation of the treatment plan and establishing a date for the discharge planning meeting. Emphasis is on rapid assessment and treatment to minimize the length of stay and to return the individual to their home community.

Short-term care cases have involved complexities of psychotropic medication usage, stabilization of behavior and preparing the person to return home.  Most individuals have had medication usage significantly reduced as well as physical issues, which might have contributed to the crisis being resolved.

Specialized Services

SWC offers:

  • Specialized outreach services for individuals who have the diagnoses of developmental disability living in the community.
  • Short-term intensive treatment designed to return people to existing community placements. The focus is on rapid, comprehensive assessment, treatment and interventions with a goal of return to a community setting in less than 30 days.
  • Consultation services are offered by the Community Relations Team in response to referrals made by county case managers.

Short-term Care Success Stories

Emergency Readmission Agreements


Robert Eisenbart, Nurse Specialist
(262) 878-6624

Jim Henkes, Director 
(262) 878-6601

Last Revised: July 22, 2016