Child and Adolescent Inpatient Services
Children and adolescents experience many physical and emotional changes. But for some, life becomes overwhelming due to underlying depression, family conflicts, or reaction to stress, trauma, or abuse. That is why Fairmount BHS offers child and adolescent inpatient services.
Here at Fairmount, we assist children and adolescent inpatients in developing coping skills and building self-esteem to be able to return home and back to school. Youngsters of kindergarten age through teenage years are treated in designated services; children, young adolescents as well as adolescent males and females are on separate and secure units.
The newly renovated facility is located behind our main hospital, overlooking Fairmount Park. It includes a school, new play yards and access to a full service gymnasium. Fairmount is recognized among the leading psychiatric hospitals in Pennsylvania from Pittsburgh, to Harrisburg, to Philadelphia.
The Strong Program
Empirical and practical research reveals that girls have unique psychosocial developmental pathways, including unique risk and protective factors for system involvement and unique strengths and needs. Gender specific programming/treatment has been deemed necessary for the optimal success of interventions and programs in a variety of service settings, including mental health.
In the context of what has become a national movement to improve services for girls, many agencies have been making specific efforts to enhance their service delivery to girls, particularly in the areas of gender responsive and trauma-informed practice. Research shows that creating gender responsive and trauma-informed practices enhances girls’ engagement in and success with a variety of services, including mental health.
Research shows that unique approaches are required to work with girls who have a history of trauma. Beginning in 2012, our adolescent girls program started utilizing Gender Responsive and Trauma Informed Treatment based on the CORE© Training/Curriculum Program, making Fairmount’s girls services a model of best practice for the Delaware Valley.
Our program takes into account that females have unique psychosocial developmental pathways. Creating a gender responsive and trauma-informed practice enhances girls’ engagement in and success with a variety of services, including mental health. We refer to this program as “The Strong Program.”
In 2016, we expanded The Strong Program to all of our child/adolescent units. This program was created specifically for our child/adolescent programs with the goal of addressing the needs that are specific to this population. The Strong Program is strengths-based, culturally competent and focused on empowerment, sensitivity and self-expression. Our program is designed to provide structure and encourage healthy behaviors as a way to build confidence, change behaviors, and earn privileges.
Privileges include access to the Strong Program Library, going to the cafeteria, using the Strong Program Point Store, Movie Nights, Special Dinner Nights and serving as a Unit Ambassador. The Strong Program focuses on providing privileges to individuals as they demonstrate safe behaviors and growth during their treatment. Points are earned by following rules, effectively coping with one’s feelings in a healthy manner, participating in all scheduled activities, showing respect to self, peers, staff and the environment.
There are four phases: Growth, Resilience, Pride and Strength. All individuals start at Growth and have an opportunity to earn additional privileges as they advance in the phases.
Child & Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Services
The Child and Adolescent inpatient Psychiatric Service is a specialized level of care designed to meet the needs of children and adolescents, 5 to 17 years of age, with psychiatric disorders. The service is located in two sections of the campus: the Child and Adolescent Inpatient Building, and the D/E unit wing of the newly constructed section.
In the Child/Adolescent Building, we have three units, serving 15 children (A-Pod), 11 adolescent males (B-Pod), and 10 co-ed pre-adolescents (C-Pod). The building is separate from the rest of the hospital, with bright, high-ceilinged space and colorful murals decorating the common areas. There are two separate, secure play areas for children and adolescents attached to the building; school and gym activities take place in the main hospital building.
Dining services take place in the newly constructed cafeteria, which is exclusive to the child/adolescent population. In 2010, we made several Physical plant upgrades to this space, including renovations of the galley, flooring in the living pods, painting of the pods and bathrooms, numerous bathroom repairs, painting of the exterior building, and a renovated playground space for the children’s unit.
The newly constructed adolescent wing houses two units, both of which serve adolescent girls. This wing boasts modern construction and ample group therapy/activity space, as well as a new classroom for school.
The goals of the Child/Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Service are to help children and adolescents with psychiatric problems to remain safe,to reduce symptoms, and to improve functioning. Specifically, the treatment focuses on:
- Psychiatric Evaluation
- Managing thoughts and behaviors posing a danger to the patient or others; Reduce severe symptoms associated with depression, substance abuse/dependence,psychosis, conduct, and other disorders; and
- Improve functioning at home, school, and the community.
Our child and adolescent inpatient treatment program includes the following:
- Separate and distinct units for children (5 –10 years old); young adolescents (10-12 years old); adolescent boys (13-17 years old); and adolescent girls (13-17 years old)
- Educational Groups (medication education, illness education, healthy lifestyles, communication, anger management, coping skills, stress management, relaxation)
- Parent Education and Support Group — designed to help the families understand their child’s disease, medications and how to interact more positively with their child when they return home
- Daily School Program — run by two certified Special Education teachers
- A Strengths-Based Phase System for adolescents which focuses on empowerment and self-expression.
- Multiple play yards and access to a full-service gymnasium
- Group Therapy — goal-directed modality, concentrated in the present, builds on strengths and focuses on solutions
- Allied Therapy
- Family Therapy
Top 10 Reasons to Refer to Fairmount’s Child and Adolescent Program
- The Fairmount Psychiatrists: Our psychiatrists are board certified in psychiatry and specialize in child/adolescent treatment.
- A Gender Responsive Treatment for Adolescent Girls: Our model is strengths-based and trauma-informed using a holistic and relational approach to girls’ treatment programming. This is a best-practice model for this population, focusing on empowerment and self-expression.
- Families F.I.R.S.T. (Families Investing Recovery & in Supporting Treatment) Program: This is a program designed to support families who have been dealing with a loved one who has mental illness.
- Fairmount’s Adolescent Acute Partial Program: Our continuum of care offers a highly structured step-down service from inpatient hospitalization for youth 14-17 years of age. Led by a full-time psychiatrist and a team of Masters level clinicians, the program allows for shorter hospital stays and a more successful transition back to home and school.
- Psychological & Therapy Services:
- In addition to group psychotherapy, our doctoral level psychologists and interns provide psychological testing as appropriate and individual therapy.
- Our Allied Therapists use a variety of modalieties such as art, music, dance/movement, cognitive and behavioral approaches to provide alternate avenues of expression.
- They also coordinate seasonal activities like BBQ’s and holiday celebrations.
- Affiliations with many Universities & Colleges: We have affiliations with graduate school programs to provide practicum and internship experiences supervised by our doctoral-level psychologists. Our graduate students assist in providing a robust therapy experience for our children and adolescent patients.
- Our Daily School Program: Certified Special Education teachers facilitate individualized instruction and collaborate with home schools.
- Separate Age-Specific Units:
- Children (5-9 years old)
- Young Adolescents (10-12 years old)
- Adolescent Boys (13-17 years old)
- Adolescent Girls (13-17 years old)
- Social Services: Our licensed and Masters level social workers provide comprehensive assessments, individual/family therapy, treatment education and discharge planning.
- Recreational Therapy: All child/adolescent patients have access to multiple play yards and to a full-service gymnasium.
We are grateful for the positive feedback we have received from our community partners, patients and families.
“Thank you for helping me succeed in my treatment!” – Patient
“I think this was a great experience and I’m glad I came here. My stay here was great.” -Patient
“Keep up the good work. I learned a lot from you all.” -Patient
“I was able to ride with my son during his admission to Fairmount and actually see the facility and meet some of the staff. The level of comfort I received from this trip made it easier for me to be away from him while he receives treatment.” – Parent
“I have a great relationship with one of the social workers in the inpatient unit. I really appreciate how well she communicates with me and the school and she makes feel like our students are in really good hands during their hospitalization.” -Teacher
For more information on childhood and adolescent mental and behavioral health, visit our behavioral health resources page.