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Resources for Parents

It is our goal at Peninsula Hospital to provide your child excellent care and to provide families with timely and accurate information regarding your child’s care.  We recognize that your decision to admit your child into Peninsula Hospital is likely one of the most difficult decisions you have ever made.  Many problems arise that give parents few alternatives but to seek professional help. 

The professionals treating your child hope that this will be both a growing and learning experience for not only your child but for you as well.  We hope this information will help you better understand not only how the program works, but also the roles of the team members who will be working with you and your child during his/her treatment here.

What is this hospitalization about? 

Peninsula Hospital provides acute care treatment.  Acute Care is brief hospitalization, generally 3-7 days.  It is the beginning of the recovery process.  During your child’s hospital stay, the Treatment Team caring for your child will have two basic goals: 

  1. First, to stabilize your child’s symptoms through an individualized plan; and,
  2. Secondly, to assist the child and you to gain an increased understanding of his/her disorder (its symptoms and triggers) so that your child’s behavior is better controlled and safer.

Your child will be given a discharge plan; an essential part of your child’s healing process as it serves your child and family for the longer-term needs of the recovery process.  Your child will need your help and support to follow through with his/her specific discharge plan and recovery.

How much control will I have in my child/adolescent’s care?  

First it is important to explain that a child can be admitted to care in two ways, voluntarily or involuntarily

  • A voluntary admission means that you, the guardian, have brought your child to the Hospital for treatment and have entered your child into treatment by signing a form called the Memorandum of Agreement.  This also means that you will be fully involved in the treatment process of your child and you agree with the need for this level of care for your child.
  • An involuntary admission occurs when the child is committed (that is, the child is placed in the hospital legally without the consent of the parents) into treatment by a team of professionals.  This team consists of a judge, a mental health professional and a physician who have assessed your child and recommended admission to the Hospital based on the belief that the child is dangerous in some way to either self or others.  A commitment is a legal order outlining the reason that the hospitalization is necessary.  It consists of two certificates of need (forms which are completed after two different professionals have assessed your child to determine that he/she is in need of hospitalization).          Afterwards, a judge gives the order to detain the child in the Hospital.  A court hearing is scheduled to occur within five business days of the commitment.  Unless you speak with your child’s physician about signing your child into treatment, you will be required to appear in court before a Blount County Judge.  You have the right to retain an attorney during the course of the proceedings.  If you decide not to retain an attorney, an attorney appointed by the court is retained for your child.  If the Court determines no substantial risk, then the child will be released from the Hospital.  Failure of the family to be present at Court may result in legal charges filed against the family.

Will my child’s stay be confidential (kept secret)? 

Your child’s records are confidential, seen only by authorized personnel, unless state laws require otherwise.  Confidentiality is one of the ways that Peninsula Hospital works with you to protect your child.  In the state of Tennessee, individuals 16 years of age or older are entitled to the same privacy rights as adults and can determine what information can be released.  Specific questions about confidentiality should be directed to Hospital staff.