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Protocol for the Admission of Children to Psychiatric Treatment Facilities


1. Answering the following questions should help the parents or other legally responsible person (“Parents”)

gain a better understanding of the child’s treatment and procedures in an inpatient psychiatric treatment facility.

a) Why is psychiatric inpatient treatment being recommended for our child and how will it help?

b) What are the other treatment alternatives and how do they compare to inpatient treatment?

c) Is the child being admitted to the hospital by a psychiatrist or eligible psychologist qualified by training and experience to treat children and adolescents?

d) What does the hospital’s treatment program include and how will our child keep up with school work?

e) What are the responsibilities of the child and adolescent psychiatrist or eligible psychologist and other people on the treatment team?

f) How long will the child be hospitalized, and how will we pay for these services? What are our financial obligations for treatment, and what impact will financial issues have on our child’s length of treatment?

g) What will happen if we can no longer afford to keep our child in this facility and inpatient treatment is still needed?

h) How will we as parents be involved in our child’s hospitalization, including the decision for discharge and aftercare treatment?

i) How will the decision be made to discharge our child from the hospital?

j) Once our child is discharged, what are the plans for follow-up treatment?

k) What will the role of medication be in my child’s treatment?

2. The parents who still have concerns after considering the above questions should

feel free to discuss these issues with a mental health professional. The parents

may consider whether to request a CASSP case manager.

3. If, on the recommendation of a psychiatrist or psychologist, the parents make

the decision to admit the child to any inpatient psychiatric treatment facility,

the parents take the child to the facility and sign a consent form for treatment.

If the child is physically resistant, the parents may consider involuntary commitment


4. The parents should make themselves available to the hospital staff, psychiatrist,

psychologist, child’s attorney, any guardian ad litem, any CASA, and other

involved professionals to help facilitate the child’s treatment. At the direction

of the hospital staff, the parent should participate fully in the child’s treatment

(i.e. family therapy, group therapy, visitation at the hospital and in the home)

and in discharge and aftercare planning. The parent should visit the child at

the hospital as often as possible consistent, with the treatment plan.

5. The parents will receive written notice of the date, time and place of the hearing

from the Clerk and should attend.


6. The parents should be prepared to testify regarding the child’s behavior and to

respond to questions from the judge and child’s attorney. Parents may request

that their child’s psychiatrist and psychologist appear at the hearing. If neither

appear at the hearing, the parents may request that the court initiate a call to

them on the speaker phone.

7. The parents may participate in the hearing without an attorney, but may also

hire an attorney to represent their interests.

8. The parents have the right with the approval of the psychiatrist or eligible

psychologist, to transport their child to and from the hearing. The parent may

also request the judge’s permission to transport the child back to the hospital

when the child has been transported to the hearing by other means.

9. If the child is discharged by the judge at the conclusion of the hearing, the

child’s psychiatrist or psychologist will assist in exploring alternatives or may

discontinue services.

10. Parents are legally responsible for providing for their child. If the child,

however, refuses to return home or to otherwise abide by the parents

instructions, the parents may consider employing one or more of the following

alternatives: The Relatives, Inc., Juvenile Court Services, Youth Services Bureau,

Youth and Family Services, CASSP, and extended family placement.



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