Child Welfare

The Atlantic: Children Who Are Cleared to Leave Psychiatric Hospitals – But Can’t

June 07, 2018 | Emily Taylor

This article in The Atlantic by ProPublica Illinois reporter, Duaa Eldeib, investigates the complex factors leading to children staying in psychiatric hospitals long after they are cleared for release because of the challenges the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has in finding appropriate placements. Although psychiatric hospitals are designed for short-term stays, the reporter found that “Eighty percent of the more than 800 children whose stays became medically unnecessary between 2015 and 2017 were held for 10 days or more beyond when they should have been released. More than 40 percent were confined for a month or longer; 15 percent had to wait two months or longer.”

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