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Psychiatric Hospitalization Discharge Planning

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Psychiatric Hospitalizations for Children

Psychiatric hospitals offer a safe environment for children in crisis who pose a threat to themselves or others, or who are gravely disabled.  Hospital personnel provide crisis intervention, medications and diagnostic assessments.

Psychiatric Hospitalization Discharge Planning Teleconferences

Psychiatric Hospital Discharge Planning is a team approach to making a discharge plan for a psychiatrically hospitalized child.  A discharge planning meeting is usually done by means of a teleconference lasting from 30 minutes to an hour in length.  The teleconference is typically scheduled on a weekday some time between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.  Relevant parties, including the DCFS discharge planning coordinator, a moderator from Department of Mental Health, the hospital social worker, CSW, a Resource Utilization Management (RUM) liaison, the child's therapist, the Wraparound team, Regional Center service coordinator and the child's attorney typically participate in a discharge planning teleconference. (Note: The teleconference is not designed to include parents, relatives, foster parents or legal guardians).  The goal of the teleconference is to develop a plan that will promote stabilization, decrease future hospitalizations and facilitate a timely discharge. 

Notification & Coordination

  • The Hospital notifies Department of Mental Health of a DCFS child's admission to a psychiatric hospital. 

  • The Department of Mental Health notifies the DCFS discharge planning coordinator that the DCFS child has been admitted to a particular hospital.

  • The DCFS Discharge Planning Coordinator contacts the hospital social worker and schedules a teleconference at a time that accommodates the needs of the hospital social worker.  The DCFS discharge planning coordinator notifies all parties via e-mail or telephone of the time of the discharge planning conference. 

  • During the teleconference, the Hospital Social Worker provides information including the child’s admission date, diagnosis, medication, current level of functioning, and anticipated discharge date.

  • The DMH Moderator facilitates the development of a plan that ensures the child is linked to all appropriate mental health services upon discharge.  The moderator and the team also work together to ensure that the child’s educational, developmental and medical needs are addressed during the teleconference.  

  • The CSW’s participation in hospital discharge planning is a top priority in the hierarchy of CSW dutiesIf the CSW is unavailable for any reason, the DCFS regional office chain of command ensures alternate coverage.

Presented by
Los Angeles County Department of
Children and Family Services

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