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Frequently Asked Questions

Columbus Behavioral Center is situated on a 6.2 acre campus in Bartholomew County in Columbus, Ind., 45 miles south of Indianapolis on I-65. CBC is centrally located between Indianapolis (45 minute drive), Louisville (1 hour drive) and Cincinnati (1 ½ hour drive). Our outpatient location is 4015 Vickers Drive. For specific driving directions, please see the directions page of our website.

Our facility specializes in residential treatment, so we don’t have acute stabilization services at our facility. We maintain close relationships with Valle Vista Health System and Meadows Hospital, both of which offer acute hospitalization services. You can call Valle Vista in Greenwood (800-447-1348), Wellstone Regional Hospital (877-999-9355), or Meadows in Bloomington (800-972-4410) at any time to receive additional help.

Our facility specializes in residential treatment, so we don’t have no cost assessment services at our facility. We do have close relationships with acute hospitals Valle Vista in Greenwood (800-447-1348), Wellstone Regional Hospital (877-999-9355), or Meadows in Bloomington (800-972-4410) which offer no cost confidential assessments for all ages.

Mission Statement
Columbus Behavioral Center for Children and Adolescents is a residential treatment facility committed to enhancing the mental health of children and adolescents by implementing quality therapeutic, behavioral and medical interventions. As an ethically and fiscally responsible organization, we strive to serve residents, their families and the community by providing a secure and compassionate environment in which healing can occur.

Vision Statement
To be a premier provider of residential mental health services for children and adolescents, demonstrating positive patient outcomes and family-centered care.

We are accredited by The Joint Commission. You can learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.


When a child is admitted into our program, our admissions staff places the child into the program that best meets their needs and eligibility. For children on Medicaid, there are specific criteria that must be met to have a residential benefit. We accept males and females ages 8 to 18 into our residential programs. In addition, we offer a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program and outpatient services for adolescents ages 12-18.

Some private insurance programs will pay for residential services. Contact our Admissions department for specific eligibility requirements for each program. When a child joins our program, he or she is then matched to a therapist and the groups that meet his or her treatment goals, such as chemical dependency groups, abuse, etc.

Yes, we accept private insurance. Each company differs on what they will cover, how long, and the benefits, so please call our Admissions department to determine what the residential benefit is for your insurance provider.

The best thing to do is contact Michelle Orr in our Admissions department at 800-562-5213 to discuss the specific details of your child, our bed availability, and the next steps needed to get the child enrolled.

Our referrals come from a variety of sources. Sometimes parents are concerned about their child, so they contact us directly. In addition, we often get referrals from case workers, probation officers, and other supportive agencies in the child’s life. Most of our residents come directly from an acute stay at a psychiatric hospital because they need extra time to learn the necessary skills and to address their issues before going back to a less restrictive environment.

Yes, we have children who have a history of acting out in a sexual manner. These children are monitored closely for such behaviors and will receive therapeutic support to address this issue. However, if a child has an extensive history of acting out sexually, the child would be better served by a facility that specializes in this issue.

In order to benefit from our program, a child needs to have a minimum IQ of 70 as determined by psychological testing. If the child’s IQ is below 70, he or she would be better served at a treatment facility that specializes in developmentally delayed intellectually disabled youth.

When the child is admitted, please bring with you contact information, immunization records, proof of guardianship, a driver’s license and your insurance card.

During the Child or Adolescent’s Stay

When your child arrives at our facility, he or she will meet with a nurse or mental health technician who will check in belongings to ensure they don’t get lost during the resident’s stay.
A complete list of allowable items is included in the handbook that you and your child will receive on the first day. The basics are:

  • Up to five pairs of pants or shorts
  • Five T-shirts and five regular shirts (not tight or short)
  • Seven pairs of underwear
  • Two sweatshirts, sweaters or hoodies
  • Three bras (no underwire)
  • Seven pairs of socks
  • Two pajama sets
  • Two pairs of tennis shoes
  • One coat, a pair of gloves and a hat
  • Clothing with drug, alcohol, satanic, violent, gang, or sexually inappropriate themes are not allowed.
  • Certain books, toiletries and personal items are also allowed, so please check the handbook for more details.

Our average length-of-stay is currently 120 days. The amount of time a child stays depends greatly on the child’s and family’s needs and willingness to work through the program.

Columbus Behavioral Center is structured as a three-month program if the child continues to make positive choices and advances through his or her treatment.

At Columbus Behavioral Center, we know that structure is important in a child’s life. We have a schedule that residents follow, but also allow enough free time to encourage individual expression.

We offer school 5 days a week, for half a day during the scheduled school year. During the summer months we offer enrichment programming. They also participate in group therapy, life skills, psychoeducational groups, and activity therapy daily, and see their therapist for a session every week.

If you would like a detailed schedule, just ask admissions when your child arrives.

You are a key component in your child’s life and are therefore crucial to the success of his or her treatment efforts. As part of your signed agreement upon placement, you will be responsible for attending family therapy sessions twice a month and Parent Day one Saturday per month (your child’s therapist will tell you which Saturday it falls).

In addition, residents are given therapeutic trial visits, or TTVs, that allow them to spend time outside of our facility to work on their relationships within their family. Visitation and phone calls are additional ways that you can stay connected with your child and let them know that you support them.

Residents are given therapeutic trial visits, or TTVs, that allow them to spend time outside of our facility to work on their relationships within their family. These are decided weekly by the child’s treatment team, and are based on whether the child is determined to be safe to themselves and others at that time. Each week you will receive a phone call with the number of hours for each pass.

When your child enters the program, he or she will meet with their therapist within the first few days after admission in order to create an individualized treatment plan. This plan will be used as the basis of treatment throughout the child’s stay.

Each week the therapist and resident work together to check off goals that have been achieved and create new goals. Therapists work to create a trusting relationship with each child and then use cognitive-behavioral therapy and other methodologies to best meet the needs of both you and your child.

In addition to individual and family sessions with a therapist, residents go to groups three times a week with a therapist and attend daily psychoeducational groups with trained mental health technicians.

Columbus Behavioral Center works hard to ensure that a talented, well-rounded group of professionals is available to meet the needs of our residents. The facility employs psychiatrists, medical doctors, a certified nurse practitioner, Registered Nurses, master’s-level therapists, nutritionists, activity therapy staff, teachers, and others who are committed to helping each child that enters our doors.

Direct-care staff receives 68 hours of initial orientation training and 20 hours of formal training per year.

Yes, treatment is kept confidential. At admission, the guardian is asked to sign a release of information forms for those who can receive copies of reports from us. In addition, we also issue a numerical code for you to use when you call your child. Only those people you have added to the phone and visitation lists and have the code can contact your child.
We strictly follow all HIPAA regulations which protect patients’ and their families’ confidentiality.
What are the rules/days for phone calls and visitation?

Residents are able to make phone calls three times per week according to their schedule. When the child is admitted, you will receive a list of the days your child can call you depending on their bed assignment. Caseworkers, probation officers, and other social service agency personnel who are involved in the resident’s case are able to call into our facility, but in general, parents need to let their children call them.

If you have an emergency or a special circumstance that necessitates a phone call, this can easily be arranged by calling the nurses station.

The phone call lengths are determined by the resident’s level. Visitation is on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Up to four family members may attend visitation at a time. There are also special visitation hours during holidays, and your child’s therapist will notify you about these times.

Upon admission, each child is assessed to determine their academic levels and special needs. We make every effort to accommodate the diverse needs of our population, including students with IEPs.

Our multi-age academic instruction is based on the curriculum standards for Indiana; we facilitate the transition back to their home county school upon discharge. We have an education director and three teachers with at least one teacher certified in special education. Our teachers are part of the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, so the child’s credits transfer to their home county school when they are discharged.

Our cafeteria provides balanced meals daily. They are specifically designed by our dietician to meet the needs of adolescents.

Each day residents are offered an alternative selection in addition to the main meal. Meal plans are posted around our facility and are available upon request. Dietary restrictions and variations are all accommodated as necessary.

Yes, we have a fenced-in area at our facility that includes a full basketball court, playground equipment, an outdoor group area, and a large area for sports. In addition, residents are eligible for community outings with staff members – these have included trips to the park, bowling, swimming, museums, etc.

When your child enters the program, he or she is assigned a therapist. Your child and/or your family will meet weekly with that therapist for individual or family therapy. Family therapy is required at least two times per month. In addition, therapists are available throughout the week if you need to call with any additional information or questions. Our therapists interact with the residents in a variety of ways throughout the week, including groups three times per week with residents and the ability for the child to request to speak with a therapist when needed.

If you ever have any questions about a resident, feel free to speak with the child’s therapist to learn more about his or her therapeutic progress. At family sessions, you will be able to review the resident’s treatment plan and sign off on monthly treatment updates. In addition, nurses on the unit can answer any medical questions that you may have, such as regarding medications, doctor visits, etc. If you are a referral source, you will be faxed a monthly summary of the child’s progress if you are included on the release of information signed by the guardian, but can also contact the therapist for more information.

Upon Discharge

As the resident progresses in treatment, he or she advances through our phase system. This is determined by the resident and their treatment team. Usually, the resident won’t know the precise discharge date until a couple of days before, but guardians and other adults involved in the child’s discharge will be informed well in advance.

Throughout the child’s stay discharge planning is continually evaluated. When our treatment team determines a resident is ready, a discharge plan is organized. Upon discharge, the therapist sets up appointments for the child and the family with key outpatient treatment providers. It is important for these adolescents to continue their treatment to ensure a successful transition to a lower level of care.

Discharge plans vary depending upon the needs of the child, with family reunification being our primary goal. The resident’s psychiatrist and treatment team, along with his or her family and other support agencies, will help identify the best discharge option. Upon discharge, the therapist sets up appointments for the child and the family with key outpatient treatment providers.

Residents are often able to return home to their normal lives having learned ways to cope better with everyday stressors. For some children, difficult issues continue to impact their lives and they could need additional help. Feel free to call us in this situation, and we can help you determine the next steps in your child’s treatment.