Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 03/15/2021

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at SUWS of the Carolinas to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, there are certain restrictions in place regarding on-site visitation at SUWS of the Carolinas.

  • These restrictions have been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff receives ongoing infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance is provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Safety Standards of our Program

We remain open and are continuing to accept new admissions.

SUWS of the Carolinas remains committed to providing clinically superior services within a safe and supportive environment while taking all appropriate precautions to protect the well-being of our students and staff.

For admissions information, or to learn more about the heightened preventive measures we have put in place, please click the link at the top of this page or call us at (828) 489-3198.

Our Commitment to Safe Treatment

At SUWS, we realize that the safety and success of your child are of primary concern and we take these responsibilities very seriously. Our parent company, SUWS of the Carolinas, has been providing the highest quality care for youth and families for over two decades. SUWS of the Carolinas programs have earned outstanding reputations and are solidly committed to evidence-based treatment that will produce positive results.

In addition to implementing SUWS of the Carolinas’ proprietary best practices, we abide by a strict set of safety protocols to enhance the care that your child will receive. In addition, you can feel confident that all SUWS of the Carolinas programs are appropriately licensed or regulated by state or local agencies and adhere to established standards of care.

We know that the decision to send your child away can be one of the most difficult choices a parent will ever have to make. We understand your feelings of worry, loss of control and uncertainty for the future. Our highly qualified program staff have been trained how to help you through this difficult time. We hope to be of assistance and support to you throughout the therapeutic process. But don’t just take our word for it; read or listen to what other parents have to say about SUWS. Or, if you prefer, contact some of them yourself.

After all, we share the common goal of wanting your child to succeed at SUWS, for the sake of your family, your child’s future, and so that you too can become one of our many success stories.

Safety & Success

SUWS of the Carolinas considers your child’s safety to be of primary importance. We follow a strict set of safety protocols put in place by our licensing agency (NCDHHS), our accrediting body (CARF); outdoor programming best practices, and our parent company, SUWS of the Carolinas who have been providing the highest quality care for youth and families for over twenty years. These highly regarded safety protocols include the following:

  • Physical medical exams and a thorough pre-screening process conducted by a licensed clinician so that each student is medically and clinically cleared before leaving campus to join their group
  • Hydration requirements – require students to drink roughly one quart of water per 25 pounds of body weight. Staff documents each student’s water and food intake on a daily basis.
  • Medication management by staff that are certified through a state-taught Medication Administration class.
  • Ongoing health checks and physical assessments – staff conduct feet and hand checks three times per day.  Staff thoroughly investigates any and all complaints.  EMT level Field Medic follows up with student complaints and helps to arrange follow up doctor’s appointments.
  • Additional precautions in inclement weather – field staff is aware of any changes in weather and adjusts the group’s agenda accordingly; if the temperature reaches 90 degrees in summer, the groups stop hiking; if the temperature dips into single digits or if winds go over 30 miles-per-hour in winter, the groups return to covered structures at one of our base facilities.
  • Weather- and activity-appropriate clothing, gear and equipment
  • Evacuation plans
  • Staff safety training and drills – each group has at least one staff that is a Wilderness First Responder which means they have received approximately 80 hours of advanced training in how to respond to emergency situations in wilderness settings
  • Well-established, research-backed therapies with licensed or pre-licensed clinicians.
  • Accessible communication – groups in the field are in regular contact with base via multiple forms of communication, including radio and cell phones. Each group calls in to base every morning to report on the status of the groups and if there are any issues that require more follow up.

Additional Safety Information

Your child will be receiving supervision from our qualified and caring staff. This level of supervision is directly related to the severity of his or her behavioral issues. Each staff member who will work with your child has gone through numerous background checks and is in compliance with all state regulations.

Should there be an emergency during your child’s stay, we have established best practices and risk management procedures that include emergency preparedness training and response. In the event of an emergency, you will be quickly notified with as much detail as possible.

The wilderness therapy offered at SUWS was the dynamic solution needed to help my son with his behavioral issues. When my son left SUWS, he was completely changed for the better and also created new bonds and unforgettable memories! I can't recommend SUWS enough for anyone in a similar situation!

– Britney A.
Marks of Quality Care
Why does this matter?
  • Cognia
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • Forest Service Department of Agriculture
  • National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP)
  • National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
  • NC Department of Health and Human Services
  • Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council
  • Safe Zone
  • Sky's The Limit Fund
  • The Jason Foundation

Take a virtual tour of our campus!

View Here