Psychiatry Inpatient Service Overview

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Located within the Department of Psychiatry, the Inpatient Psychiatry Service (IPS) at Boston Children's Hospital, located on Bader 5, is a 16-bed inpatient secure unit that specializes in caring for children and adolescents in an acute psychiatric crisis. Psychiatric disorders treated here include depressive, anxiety, neurodevelopmental, eating, trauma and stressor related and more. We also have the capability to treat some children with physical illnesses who have emotional or behavioral difficulties.

We provide family-oriented psychiatric assessment and treatment for children and adolescents who are having difficulty managing troubles outside the hospital. The primary goal of our service for the child/adolescent and their family is to reduce the risk of harm to self or others, improve functioning and safety at home and in community, and return to a less restrictive environment for ongoing care as soon as possible.


Generally, your child will be admitted to the IPS following a medical and psychiatric evaluation in response to a "crisis" (e.g., thoughts or incidences of harming self). The admission will be completed by a nurse and a physician on the unit, who may or may not be your child's ongoing clinician depending on the time of the admission.

During the admission, you will be asked to sign your child into our secure unit on what is called a ‘Conditional Voluntary’. There will be several other forms that you may be asked to sign, including consents to contact outside treatment providers, such as a therapist, psychiatrist, primary care doctor, school administrator and others who are involved in your child's care. Having contact with outside providers is an essential part of your child's treatment plan while hospitalized, as they will be hospitalized for a limited time and will likely return to the care of their outpatient treaters upon discharge.

Ages of patients

We treat children from ages eight to 17 years old.

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Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944