Step Program

Dearborn STEP (Short Term Educational Placement) provides an intensive clinical, therapeutic assessment to students in Grades 5-12 for up to 45 school days. We can turn a crisis into a healthy break – a chance to evaluate and assess the student’s specific needs and address critical learning issues and low-level behavioral challenges. The program provides therapy, individual and group counseling, family collaboration/supports, an individualized student-centered curriculum. Additionally, we have a consulting psychiatrist onsite weekly with medical trials and medical management.  

Students who are referred to Dearborn STEP assessment by school districts may have struggled to be successful in earlier educational environments due to:

  • Social-emotional challenges
  • Learning disabilities
  • Refusing to attend school due to severe anxiety
  • The need be re-acclimated to a school environment after a mental health hospitalization

Preparing Students for the Best Long-term Placement

Independent Assessment

Dearborn STEP is the only local assessment program that provides referring school district staff and caregivers and students, the full team, with a range of options for long-term educational placement. We will not "track" students to a specific school or program. Instead, we work with the team to understand the student’s unique needs and create an individualized program that propels the student toward academic and social success. The team then determines the best possible long-term educational placement. 


At STEP, we employ a strength-based, student-centered approach to rigorous academic instruction and therapeutic services in a tightly integrated system of support. Our 1:2 student/staff ratio ensures that our educational services are individualized and based on student need. Instruction is guided by the curriculum of the referring school and the student's IEP, if there is one.

A Multi-Faceted Approach

Counselors and other milieu staff are part of students’ classroom experience. This ensures that each student has the opportunity to use what they have learned in the clinical setting in real time.

Offsite activities like field trips and community service projects provide further opportunities for identifying social challenges and offering adventure-based counseling to build resiliency.

Additionally, an onsite psychiatrist is available weekly to provide psychiatric consultation and supports.

STEP has enrolled students from more than 35 different communities since being created. We are ready to work with yours.