page contents


Protocol for the Admission of Children to Psychiatric Treatment Facilities




1. The attorney is appointed within 48 hours after the clerk receives notice that a minor has been admitted and then receives the following information from the clerk:


a) voluntary admission application;

b) physician’s evaluation (QPER);

c) request for hearing form;

d) appointment order.


2. The attorney must serve the child with the notice of hearing not less than 48 hours before the hearing and must meet with the child within 10 days of the attomey’s appointment.


3. The attorney will advise the child of the physician’s position.


4. The attorney will ascertain the child’s position. The attorney’s ethical responsibility is to represent the child’s expressed interests and not what the attorney believes to be the best interest of the child.


5. The attorney will advise the child of the option to consent or contest and the consequences of those choices.


a) If the child consents, the attorney ensures that it is a knowledgeable

decision but respects the child’s wishes.


b) If the child contests, the attorney will prepare for the hearing.


6. The attorney will provide a standard release of information form to the facility to review the medical chart.


7. The attorney will request a CASA or a CASSP case manager, if appropriate.


8. The attorney will talk with hospital personnel, any YFS social worker, any CASSP case manager, any juvenile court counselor, the psychiatrist or psychologist, the child’s parents, and any CASA or GAL appointed to represent the child.


9. The attorney will ensure that the CASA or GAL understands his/her role and the attomey’s role, i.e. that the CASA and attorney may only promote the child’s expressed interest, whereas the GAL must promote the child’s best interest.


10. The attorney will counsel the child about possible outcomes of the hearing and whether the child should testify.

11. The attorney will advise the child of the option not to attend the hearing or to testify and obtain the child’s signature on written motions if the child elects to waive those rights.


12. The attorney will advise the hospital whether the child plans to contest or consent. The attorney will leave copies of any signed motions with hospital personnel to be placed in the child’s chart.


13. The attorney will consult with other professionals and explore the availability and appropriateness of alternatives to hospitalization.


14. The attorney will subpoena any necessary witnesses.


15. At the hearing, the attorney will state the child’s position. The child will be brought into the hearing room, or the attorney will submit the written motions and proposed order waiving the child’s right to be present. If the child contests, the judge may ask the parents to explain why continued hospitalization is necessary. The child’s attorney will have an opportunity to ask questions of the parents. Any other witnesses may testify in the same manner. The judge will also consider the physician’s or psychologist’s evaluation. The child’s attorney will object to erroneous or inadmissible information contained in the physician’s or psychologist’s report, or from witnesses. The attorney may make a motion to dismiss at the conclusion of evidence in support of continued hospitalization. If denied, the attorney may present evidence on behalf of the child.


16. At the conclusion of the hearing, the attorney may request, on behalf of the child, that the child be transported back to the facility by the parents in lieu of being transported by the sheriff’s department.


17. The attorney may make a motion to dismiss if necessary witnesses do not appear at the hearing.


18. The attorney will request a continuance when the child’s position will be served by doing so.


Share This