About the Northwood Experience | Northwood Children's Services | Building Brighter Futures

About the Northwood Experience

For 140 years, Northwood Children’s Services has been dedicated to improving the lives of troubled children. To do so requires flexibility, tenacity, teamwork, and the willingness to invest sufficient resources to get the job done well. Significantly improving the health, safety, and development of the children, youth, and families we serve takes the talents, hard work, dedication and commitment of our staff. We imagine the best and set our goals high despite the inevitable challenges. We are determined to keep our promise to children, that is, to protect them and to preserve the promise of a better and brighter future for every child and family we serve.


Creative Arts

Everyone has an imagination. The art program at Merritt Creek Academy shows children that creating art is a good way to make choices and solve problems. Every step involves making a decision: what color to use, what size, and with every choice, the object becomes more and more their own. The art program develops qualities of teamwork, flexibility, appreciation, and respect for other ideas and personal expressions. It is the goal of this program to provide all students with hands-on exploration of a variety of art mediums. The students are also taught to recognize and appreciate the significance of artistic contributions throughout history and across cultures. As students see their artwork displayed throughout the school they experience pride in their accomplishments which expands their level of self-confidence.



General music classes are a regular part of the curriculum at Merritt. Elementary students attend classes on a four-day rotation. Every student at Merritt attends hourly music groups once a week to learn about many different instruments, musical styles, and cultures. Music group allows the students to practice their skills in teamwork, patience, listening, and responsibility.

The choir is comprised of students from Merritt IDT and West residential programs, members learn about the vocal mechanism, singing harmony in multiple voice types, and good performance practices. The Hand Bell Choir performs after learning all about how to play the beautiful brass instruments. Drum Circle focuses on rhythm, togetherness, and dedication.

Individual lessons are offered to select students in voice and instruments. These lessons are often provided as a treatment venue to address therapeutic issues or as an incentive or reward for hard work toward that student’s individual treatment goal. All music students work toward the various performance opportunities throughout the year.



Northwood Children’s Services ensures appropriate medical and dental care for youth throughout their stay. Northwood employs multiple full-time Registered Nurses, a Licensed Practical Nurse, and Certified Medical Assistants for students in our care. Initial nursing assessment, medical intake screening, medication management, and psychotropic medication monitoring are performed by the on-campus nurse and contracted doctors. Emergency medical treatment, dental and laboratory services are available with local hospitals, dentists, and healthcare specialists.

View the Northwood Children’s Services Wellness Policy

View the Northwood Children’s Service Health and Wellness Program


Spirituality Program

Northwood’s Spirituality Program provides interested students with opportunities to learn and experience teachings and activities for their spiritual development. Students have an opportunity to participate on Monday nights as well as various small group studies throughout the week. Interesting and fun innovated ways are used to teach and implement spiritual growth through this program. Special speakers from different cultural and spiritual backgrounds are invited throughout the year; this gives students to opportunity to explore different religious traditions and teachings. This program also provides community service projects such as serving food at the local homeless outreach center as well as fundraising opportunities such as “Operation Christmas Child.” All spiritual activities are voluntary.


What People Say about Northwood


“All staff involved were professional, competent, supportive, engaged and committed to the child’s care and progress in the program.”


“I see a girl emerging who is braver, kinder and more positive in her outlook. She can talk about sad events and expresses an understanding of how life is less than perfect, but many new events will take their place.”


“Northwood has gone over and above any expectations to serve my child. It is such a great place and I would recommend them to anyone who has a child in need.”

Your contribution helps. Find out the many ways that you can support young lives.

Give Now

Currently seeking individuals who want to make a positive impact on young lives.

Join Our Team