Hampstead Hospital and Residential Treatment Facility: Child & Adolescent Specialty Services

The Child and Adolescent Specialty Services at Hampstead Hospital and Residential Treatment Facility provides intensive, acute, inpatient and residential treatment for serious psychiatric and behavioral disorders for children and adolescents. Our facility provides individualized, behavioral programming based on both cognitive functioning and psychiatric need. Two distinct treatment programs, the Acute Psychiatric Unit and the Intensive Behavioral Unit, provide treatment for over 40 children and adolescents.

Our Treatment Team members determine the best program to meet the unique and varied needs of our patients. Several factors are taken into consideration when determining the best program. These factors include the child’s cognitive functioning level, age level, treatment goals, and individual behaviors. The programming we provide can vary from day to day as we make adjustments frequently to best meet the needs of our ever-changing populations. Ongoing observation will ensure that the programming is best suited for the child throughout their hospitalization.

  • Over 40 beds for children and adolescents ages 3 to 18
  • 24-hour nursing care
  • Full psychiatric evaluation
  • Small, individualized treatment groups
  • Structured, consistent daily routine
  • Family involved care
  • Daily medication management and monitoring
  • Crisis and safety planning
  • Aftercare planning with referrals

Treatment Team members include:

  • Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists
  • Licensed Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners
  • Masters Level Clinical Social Workers
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst
  • Psychiatric Nurses
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Counselors
  • Mental Health Aides

Hampstead Hospital and Residential Treatment Facility’s Acute Psychiatric Unit is a 23-bed secure inpatient treatment program that provides stabilization for children and adolescents ages 10 to 18. We treat a wide variety of mental health issues including depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and psychosis. Many of our patients may struggle with anger management and are defiant or oppositional at home or school. Some may also be experimenting with substances or alcohol.

Our goal is to provide a safe and therapeutic environment for our patients while working collaboratively with families and outpatient supports to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.


A consistent treatment approach, a safe environment, and constant monitoring of behaviors is critical when working with children and adolescents in crisis. Our group programming focuses on building skills that may be impaired due to existing mental health issues.

Group programming is a daily focus for our patients during their stay. They can choose from a variety of daily assignments to complete correlating with their reason for admission. This allows us to individualize their treatment and ensure that their psychiatric needs are being met. 

Some of our therapeutic group programming includes:

  • Communication Skills
  • Safety Planning
  • Identifying Positive Coping Skills
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Stress Management
  • Healthy Boundaries
  • Anger Management

Additional activities and creative outlets are scheduled throughout the day for our patients. These additional groups and activities help with positive peer interactions, build self-esteem, and improve problem-solving skills. These activities include exercise, positive self-care, and cooperative games.

The Intensive Behavioral Unit at Hampstead Hospital is a 16-bed secure inpatient treatment program that provides stabilization for children and adolescents ages 3 – 18 with serious behavioral concerns and/or developmental delays. A specialized approach is needed when addressing the psychiatric needs of this population.

Our patients may experience a serious change in mood or behaviors that have greatly interfered with their daily functioning. Common diagnoses that we treat include ADD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, and other Mood Disorders. Many of our patients have significant delays and may be on the Autism Spectrum. They can exhibit behaviors such as severe aggression, self-injury, and property destruction. 

Intensive Behavior Support

The program offers the services of a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). After the behaviors of concern are identified the BCBA will track, organize, and interpret the behavioral data that allows them to develop recommendations for further treatment. Additionally, the BCBA offers meetings to families to discuss behavioral interventions to be completed within the home. This “parent training” is crucial for families as they prepare for their child’s return to a less restrictive environment.  This may also include direct collaboration with schools, community-based providers, and state agencies.

Under the direction of the BCBA, the team implements behavior change interventions that include the least restrictive approaches, positive behavior supports, and teaching alternative behaviors. These individualized goals are then considered when a child’s group programming needs are developed.


The unique needs of this population require programming based in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Structured therapeutic activities are designed to develop and maintain adaptive behaviors, coping skills, and social skills.  Our program provides higher numbers of staff than on traditional psychiatric units. This ratio allows for smaller grouping of patients, therefore maximizing their individualized treatment needs. 

Some of our specialized programming includes:

  • Social Skills
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Anger Management
  • Recreation Therapy
  • Effective Communication
  • Positive Coping Skills
  • Safety Planning
  • Self-care 

In addition to our groups, our program utilizes tutorial services to provide an academic curriculum. Patients work on individual goals that are in compliance with each patient’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Our Treatment Team collaborates with the pre-hospitalization team, including the school, to identify aftercare needs early in the hospitalization. 

Family involvement is crucial during a child’s hospitalization. An initial assessment will help identify the nature of the patient’s difficulties, the impact on the family, and the goals for hospitalization. Our team works closely with the family and with pre-hospitalization treatment providers to identify aftercare needs early in hospitalization. Clinical social workers work with the patient, family, and the outpatient teams to coordinate aftercare services and a successful transition at the time of discharge.