Working to transform the child welfare system.


SB 5056: Concerning wilderness therapy programs

The department shall create a business license for wilderness therapy programs catering to persons who experience emotional and behavioral challenges and may not be reached by traditional healing techniques. The requirements for the program must include the provision of behavioral health treatment delivered by licensed professionals, which may include professionals practicing as agency affiliated counselors.

For the purpose of this section, a wilderness therapy program is a form of behavioral health treatment provided in a nontraditional setting that employs supportive peer groups, skill building, and experiential learning challenges alongside more traditional therapy techniques. 

By December 31, 2022, the department shall establish rules for licensed wilderness therapy programs and must consider safety, cultural competency, and with the goal of family reintegration. The department shall also consider program design that facilitates coverage of treatment by licensed wilderness therapy programs by insurance providers to help defray the cost of participation in a licensed wilderness therapy program.