Psychiatric Hospitals

Your Rights in Foster Care
15. Psychiatric Hospitals

Psychiatric Hospitals

Some kids go into psychiatric hospitals while they are in foster care. Sometimes this is for a short time and sometimes for months or even years.This section talks about some of your rights while you are in a hospital.

You can be in a psychiatric hospital only if you “are a danger to yourself or others.” Most young people are in hospitals because they tried to hurt themselves or somebody else.

You have the right to be somewhere other than the hospital if you are not a danger to yourself or others.

If you have been in the hospital for what you think is too long and you want to leave, call your lawyer or send the form on page 85 to Lawyers For Children.

When you are in the hospital, you need to find out what the plan is for you. Ask your doctors and social workers these questions:

  • Why am I in the hospital?
  • How long will I stay?
  • Where will I go when I leave?
  • What kind of place is it?
  • Can I visit my family and friends? Can they visit me?