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Information for Parents

About our Units Family Centered Care What to Expect Have Questions?

About our Units

CHA has two hospital units with age-appropriate care for children.

Child Assessment Unit (CAU) - serving ages 3 – 12.

Adolescent Assessment Unit (AAU) - serving ages 13 – 18.

Family Centered Care

Our units are family-centered and our care is trauma-sensitive. Parents and guardians are viewed as partners and we encourage your active involvement.

We believe that family participation is vital to effective, comprehensive, and collaborative care.

When clinically appropriate, we encourage parents to stay overnight with their child.

What to Expect

When your child is admitted to our unit, we will:

  • Conduct a thorough assessment of your child’s diagnostic and treatment needs.
  • Assess and monitor medical issues related to your child's psychiatric care
  • Meet with your child every day.
  • Meet with your family to support treatment and treatment related goals.
  • Contact your outside providers.
  • Conduct systems / collateral meetings to coordinate care.
  • Make recommendations for parents and outside providers.
  • Make referrals and coordinate aftercare services to support transition to the community.

During the course of your child’s stay, your child may benefit from:

  • Group therapy sessions
  • Family therapy consultation
  • Sibling and family support groups
  • Psychological testing
  • A health check up from a CHA pediatrician
  • Educational resources to help children continue age-appropriate school work

Length of Stay:

The average length of stay on our units is based on your child’s needs, but is often 7-10 days.

Have Questions?

Having a child in the hospital can be frightening and sometimes overwhelming. Being in a new environment and relying on a new team of caregivers can be difficult. We want to support you and your child to make this time as easy as possible.

The staff at the Child Assessment Unit and Adolescent Assessment Unit have created child and teen-friendly settings that provide family-centered care. Your child will get the best care and support available anywhere in Massachusetts. Here are some common questions and answers about the care of your child at CHA. If you have other questions, please ask.

Contact the Unit

Child Assessment Unit (CAU)
Phone: 617-665-1674
Fax: 617-665-2255

Adolescent Assessment Unit (AAU)
Phone: 617-575-5800
Fax: 617-575-5870


The nursing staff was extremely helpful, well informed, and so kind to my child.

I am so impressed by the support my son and I received from the social worker, milieu counselors, and occupational therapist. The absolute BEST level of care I could expect my son to receive. I am so grateful!