Philosophy of Treatment

The treatment philosophy of the Inpatient Program of Hawthorn’s Children’s Psychiatric Hospital is based on the core values of the facility system of care. Treatment shall be child-centered and family focused, with the needs of the child and family dictating the types and variety of services provided. The treatment process utilizes an interdisciplinary team approach designed to treat psychiatric and emotional disorders of children and adolescents in the least restrictive environment. The goal of treatment is to maximize stabilization of their psychiatric disorder and to facilitate a transition for return to their community. Therapeutic interventions and treatment milieu are based on the Sanctuary Model and tools, and trauma focused treatment is provided.

Admission Criteria

The child presents an imminent and substantial risk of inflicting serious physical harm on self as a result of a mental disorder as evidenced by one or more of the following:

  • Recent threats, including verbal threats, to commit suicide or to inflict physical harm on self:
  • Attempts overt acts to commit suicide, or inflict physical harm on self:
  • Impairment in the capacity to make age-appropriate decisions resulting from a mental disorder which presents a substantial risk that serious physical harm will result

The child presents an imminent and substantial risk of inflicting serious physical harm on another person as a result of a mental disorder as evidenced by recent overt acts, behavior, or threats, including verbal threats, which have caused serious physical harm or which would place a reasonable person in fear of sustaining serious physical harm.

  • A parent or legal custodian has applied for voluntary admission and it is impractical to evaluate or treat the person on an outpatient basis and suitable accommodations and programs are available.
  • A juvenile court has ordered the child for evaluation or treatment, and it is not feasible to evaluate or treat the person on an outpatient basis and suitable accommodations and programs are unavailable.
  • A court has ordered, or a mental health coordinator, designated licensed physician, registered professional nurse, or other mental health professional has made application for the civil detention of the person for provisional admission for detention, evaluation, and treatment.
  • A court has ordered detention pending a guardianship hearing.
  • Application for detention, evaluation, and treatment of the person is presented by a peace officer.
  • The person’s admission is ordered by the court for pre-trail evaluation.
  • A court has committed persons found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect or unfit to proceed to trial.
  • The child resides in the State of Missouri.

The Children’s Unit

The Children’s Unit is an eight bed unit serving children ages six through twelve. While treatment plans may be specific and individual to each patients needs, the treatment team acknowledges the developmental needs of the majority of children in this age range for a consistent and routine framework from which to function and feel safe. Daily educational and goal setting groups are held by nursing staff. Individual therapy is provided 2 times per week by an assigned therapist and the program is staffed by licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and a licensed professional counselor who is also an art therapist. Play therapy and sensory integration programming is utilized with younger children or developmentally delayed children when verbalization of feelings and or concepts may be inadequate. “Focus” group is a weekly psycho educational group that utilizes a variety of activities to target specific treatment issues such as daily living skills, stress management, and anger management. An Art Therapy Group is also held once per week. Weekly family therapy is provided and strongly encouraged. Parents are provided information regarding the development of structure and boundaries within the home, effective parenting skills and communication skills.

Children attend recreational therapy daily with a variety of recreational activities being provided. The therapeutic classroom is on the children’s unit and services are provided by a DMH teacher with special education certification. Existing Individualized Education Plans are followed during the child’s hospitalization with additional recommendations made as necessary. Evaluations are made for children not already receiving special services. Children attend classes five days per week from 8:30a.m.--3:00 p.m. and four days per week during the summer from 8:30a.m.--11:00a.m.

The Adolescent Units

The Adolescent Inpatient Program consists of two unit areas serving patients ages 13-18 years of age. The Adolescent Unit has a capacity of 12 patients and Cottage E has a capacity of 8 patients. Treatment focuses on rapid stabilization of psychiatric symptoms to minimize long term impairment and promote reintegration into the community. Adolescent patients receive individual (includes Dialectical Behavior Therapy - DBT and Cognitive Behavior Therapy - CBT) and psychotherapy as well as group therapy regarding individual goals, stress management, social skills, women’s issues, music, art (includes play therapy and sensory integration assessments for developmentally delayed consumers), medication management, disease management, impulse control, anger management and communication skills. Psycho-education groups are also offered. Family therapy and education is provided as well as Recreational therapy and Educational Services. Families are encouraged to participate regularly and therapeutic passes may be ordered as an intervention in treatment.

Inpatient Program Staff

Treatment is provided to patients by an interdisciplinary team consisting of registered nurses, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, art therapist, psychiatric aides, psychiatrists, a dietician and pharmacist.