Tele-therapy available, updates

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Upcoming Trainings

Kenny Turck Presenting: Creative Methods in Social and Emotional Learning Based in Neuroscience and Applied Theory at 125th Annual MSSA Conference at Minneapolis Hilton March 21st 1:45pm-3:15pm and at MACMH 2018 Monday, April 16th “The largest children’s mental health conference in the nation”, DECC, Duluth, MN 1:15pm-2:30pm

DIRT GROUP (2003), is a trauma-informed, children’s mental health application based in social and emotional learning in the context of a gardening/farming/food/creative arts project. Grounded and informed by 5 major theories and recent findings in neuroscience, DIRT GROUP provides participants an experientially rich context with which to learn, practice, and master important life skills related to social and emotional intelligence and neuroplasticity. DIRT GROUP provides tangible outcomes in increased competency, preparation for life, pride and ownership, the “BIG RIPPLE” effect (opportunities to participate and contribute in the community), and social inclusion (Turck, 2011) which serve to increase overall well-being.

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Harvest Retreat 2017

Italian Parmesan Buns sample for HBC2017

Italian Parmesan Bread

We’ve talked about it for years but yesterday we had our first annual CRFS Harvest Retreat, bringing together members from all three locations for a day of team building around neuroscience, food, experiential learning, symbolic interactionism, social learning, and strength-based theories which guide our work with youth and families.


Rosemary Officianlis 2017

Although not everyone could make it all of our locations were well represented and it made for a great day together. We spent some time sharing pieces of our individual and collective stories and together made and ate breakfast, lunch, and sweet stuff for dinner as we were all still stuffed! I was planning on making leg of lamb for dinner but the oven was occupied consistently with the 20 batches of bread we made from scratch! We also processed one of 7 kinds of Rosemary I grew this year. As we continue to develop we will have access to certified/licensed commercial/catering kitchens which will offer a continuation of our social skills training programs as we become licensed in Minnesota and trained in Safe-Serve Food Safety and become certified to prepare and sell food with the proceeds going to feed kids at group.

Recommended Resources in Neuroscience and Trauma*
(Some of the science congruent with DIRT GROUP)

DIRT GROUP is a trauma-informed children’s mental health application based in social and emotional learning in the context of a gardening and farming project. Grounded and informed by four major theories and recent findings in neuroscience research*, DIRT GROUP positively influences social and emotional learning in youth


Mindsight: Daniel Siegel, MD (2010)

Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology: Daniel Siegel, MD (2012)

The Body Keeps the Score: Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Queensland Blue Squash

Thanks for visiting!!




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DIRT GROUP is in the metro!!!

Our gardens are producing food and increased social competencies!!!


This summer we expanded our services to include the Twin Cities metro location with our clinic in New Hope, MN and our DIRT GROUP gardens for 2017 in South Minneapolis near Abbott-Northwestern Hospital. We are so excited about the productivity we are experiencing and are SUPER THRILLED AND EXCITED with how DIRT GROUP is going in the Twin Cities as well as in our out-state locations.

In his 1970 book, Identity, Youth, and Crisis, Erik Erikson, one of the founding fathers of psychology discussed how social identity formation happens in adolescence but not outside one’s social context. The vast majority of youth CRFS serves are kids that don’t have a single friend they spend time with outside of school. With this limited social context, it makes it extra challenging for these youth to learn, practice, and master important life and social skills which often results in these youth experiencing many more risk factors resulting in significant behavioral/emotional impairments impacting their day to day functioning.

Crow River Family Services is and has been a MN DHS Certified CTSS (Children’s Therapeutic Services and Supports) Provider for over seven years. CRFS provides group skills training as a part of CTSS which only limited number of agencies provide. DIRT GROUP is a trauma-informed children’s mental health application based in social and emotional learning in the context of a gardening and farming project ( . DIRT GROUP is an award-winning, theory-based service which provides a therapeutic milieu/social context/marinade which supports participants in learning, practicing, and mastering important life and social skills, returning children to a normal developmental trajectory. DIRT GROUP provides tangible outcomes not only in the forms of fruits and vegetables but in increased social competencies by providing experiential opportunities to learn, practice, and master important skills which prepare participants for life. Participants have the opportunity to make a difference in their communities by growing food, increasing pride and ownership, and experience social inclusion (Turck, 2012). All of these outcomes act as protective factors which increase mental health and well-being.

Crow River Family Services, LLC has clinics in Hutchinson, Litchfield, and New Hope, Minnesota (metro location) including experiential group skills training sites in all three areas. Crow River Family Services, LLC mental health team has extensive experience in outpatient, community-based, hospital, school, residential treatment, restorative justice, academia, and the child protection fields. Our practitioners have won awards for their work from the National Association of Social Workers and the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health. CRFS practitioners are regular presenters at state level conferences on topics related to mental health as well.

Kenneth S. Turck, MSW, LICSW
President & Chief Creative Officer
Crow River Family Services, LLC

DIRT GROUP: Growing to Learn, Learning to Grow (All Rights Reserved)
Kenneth S. Turck, MSW, LICSW

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MACMH 2017

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Come see us at the LARGEST Children’s Mental Health Conference in the Nation – MACMH 2017!!

Come see us at the State of Minnesota’s Association of Children’s Mental Health Annual Conference in Duluth, MN April 23-25th!!

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