About Our Partial Hospitalization Program

The partial hospitalization program (PHP) at CHKD provides intensive daily mental health services for children and adolescents who are in need of coordinated, structured, and interdisciplinary treatment within a consistent environment, but who do not require inpatient care. Goals of this program include improvement of your child’s symptoms and development of strategies to manage their mental health.

The program includes individual and group therapy; behavioral coaching; psychoeducation; social and emotional support; and psychiatric evaluation and management. Families are provided support from program clinicians to help patients practice skills in the home environment. Discharge planning includes coordination of school transition and access to community resources, including outpatient therapy and medication management, to support each child’s continued progress toward mental health goals and well-being.

What to Expect

Parents and legal guardians are invited to participate at every step from intake to discharge. You are encouraged to provide feedback and help to identify and prioritize goals for treatment plans as well as desired resources for discharge planning. Families can participate in family therapy and parent programming. Ask your child’s therapist for information or to schedule a session.

Group meetings

PHP groups meet each day the program is held. Various types of groups are offered to your child, including group therapy, teaching dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) skills, psychoeducation, review and practice of skills, and other related therapies.

Individual Sessions

Your child will meet individually with a therapist several times per week. Individual therapy during PHP will focus on treatment goals developed collaboratively by the treatment team, including your child and family.

Medication Management

Your child will have weekly appointments with our attending psychiatrist or nurse practitioner for assessment and management of medications. Nursing staff may provide additional support with medications, assessment, and monitoring.

Family Engagement

Families are encouraged to engage with the treatment team to provide updates and ask questions during check in and check out. Other times, you will join your child for family-focused therapy or skill rehearsal.

Home Practice

Research shows that mental health treatment is more effective when therapy skills are regularly practiced outside the therapy setting. All PHP participants will have opportunities at home to practice skills learned in group and to reflect on how the skills work for them outside of PHP.

Meals and Snacks

Daily snacks and lunch are provided in our PHP. Special dietary needs should be communicated with your child’s treatment team. If you would prefer to provide your child’s midday meal, please bring it in a labeled cloth container or paper bag to be stored on the unit.

Referral Process

Refer to the Partial Hospitalization Program at CHKD >

Patients and families are referred to PHP by a medical or mental health provider. PHP may be recommended in response to escalating mental health needs. This is often in response to a sudden increase in mental health symptoms, difficulties maintaining previous functioning, or an emerging safety concern. Alternatively, PHP may also be recommended as a step-down from residential or acute hospital-based programs.

A patient may be considered appropriate for a referral to PHP if they:

  • Have experienced an increase in their mental health symptoms or a decrease in their functioning as a result of their mental health diagnosis.
  • May benefit from multidisciplinary interventions.
  • Are able to maintain safety at home and in the community or have adequate supports to maintain safety and structure outside of scheduled program hours.
  • Are unable to maintain their school setting due to behavioral or emotional functioning.
  • Have recently experienced hospitalization for mental health needs.
  • Need more support than traditional outpatient therapy.

PHP may not be an appropriate option if the patient:

  • Is not medically stable.
  • Displays behaviors that require constant supervision.
  • Is unable to maintain safety outside of program hours.
  • Has a mental health or medical diagnosis for which group treatment is not indicated. 

If our partial hospitalization program is deemed appropriate for your child, you will be contacted to schedule a PHP intake session. During this session, you and your child will meet with a treatment team member to learn about program expectations and responsibilities.

Arriving at Children's Pavilion

Parking is available in the garage adjacent to Children’s Pavilion. Parents and caregivers are invited to park on the second or third level and enter the building on the first floor. Please leave all unnecessary items in your vehicle. Once in the lobby, let a team member at the front desk know you are here for the partial hospitalization program and take the front elevators to the 9th floor where you will be greeted and checked in.

Please note: Our safety procedures include a metal detector screening and search of personal belongings.

Contact Information

You can reach the partial hospitalization program by phone at (757) 668-8400 or by email at MHPHP@CHKD.org