Hawthorn Children's Psychiatric Hospital is dedicated to:

  • Accessibility of individualized treatment.
  • Family and community involvement
  • Continuity of care and excellence of treatment
  • Respecting the dignity and rights of all people with whom we work

The primary mission of Hawthorn Children’s Psychiatric Hospital is to provide quality multi-disciplinary psychiatric treatment and mental health services to children and their families who are financially indigent and who reside in Missouri. Hawthorn provides acute care and residential services to children and adolescents who are experiencing an acute mental disorder or is severely emotionally disturbed. The goal of treatment is to alleviate the patient’s/client’s symptoms as rapidly as possible and to assist the patient/client in developing the emotional resources and social skills needed to more adequately function in the community. Hawthorn strives to create a therapeutic community which promotes safety and non-violence as the basis to help children heal from traumatic events. The Sanctuary Model provides a structure and framework to become a more trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive culture.

Hawthorn has agreed to the following Seven Commitments of the Sanctuary Model:


  • Build safety skills and help therapeutic community build moral, social, psychological and physical safety

Emotional Intelligence

  • Teach affect management skills

Social Learning

  • Build cognitive skills

Shared Governance

  • Create civic skills

Open Communication

  • Overcome barriers to healthy communication, teach healthy boundaries, enhance self-protective skills and reduce acting out

Social Responsibility

  • Build social connection skills and establish healthy relationships and attachments

Growth and Change

  • Help restore hope, meaning, and purpose so that children may successfully reintegrate into the community.

To facilitate a successful re-entry into the community, family involvement is considered essential and, therefore, Hawthorn works closely with the parents or legal guardians of the patients/clients. A special emphasis is placed on coordinating aftercare and follow up services with the child’s community mental health centers to prevent the need for re-hospitalization, and to place children in the least restrictive setting possible.

As a service to the community, Hawthorn also provides mental health information and consultation regarding the treatment of children and adolescents. The Hospital serves as a training facility for a wide range of mental health professionals. Hawthorn also participates fully with other community agencies in the planning and development of mental health services for the children in our catchment area. Hawthorn is a partner with other public agencies who treat children with mental health issues including juvenile/family courts, local schools, the Department of Health and Senior Services, and the State Divisions of Youth Services, Medicaid, Children's Services, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and Developmental Disabilities.