Children's Long-term Inpatient Program (CLIP)

The Children’s Long-term Inpatient Program (CLIP) is the most intensive inpatient psychiatric treatment available to Washington State residents, ages 5-17. 

About CLIP

CLIP is publicly funded by federal and state Medicaid dollars. The majority of all children and youth served in a CLIP program are eligible for Medicaid funding during their treatment stay. If the child has private insurance that covers psychiatric inpatient care, those benefits are applied to the cost of stay.

Children or youth ages 5-17 may be voluntarily admitted. Children or youth ages 13-17 years old may be involuntarily committed if they are placed on a 180-day Involuntary Treatment Court Act (ITA) court order.

There are four CLIP inpatient psychiatric facilities statewide which consist of a total of 109 funded beds. The programs are located in structured settings that are designed to assess, treat, and stabilize children and youth diagnosed with a severe psychiatric disorder.

Individualized treatment is provided through the use of evidence-based practices designed to increase the child/youth's skills and adaptive functioning with a focus on reintegration back into a community setting.

How do I access CLIP?

To access CLIP, contact your behavioral health-administrative service organization (BH-ASO) if you have private insurance, or Fee For Service (FFS), and/or managed care organization (MCO) if you are assigned a managed care health plan. Your BH-ASO or MCO will connect you with someone who can answer your questions.

Who is eligible?

Children and youth admitted to CLIP facilities who have been diagnosed with a serious psychiatric illness. Most have been served by various systems, have past hospitalizations, and multiple challenges.

Children and youth admitted to a CLIP facility may have:

  • Histories of suicidal/self-injurious behavior.
  • Intense aggression or sexualized behavior.
  • Medical needs co-occurring substance use disorders.
  • Complex family and legal issues.
  • Co-occurring developmental disabilities.

Admission pathways

There are two pathways to admission:

  • Voluntary CLIP application
  • 180-day Involuntary Treatment Act (ITA) court order

How do I apply for voluntary admission to CLIP?

Admission criteria

To be admitted to a CLIP program, voluntary applicants must be:

  • Youth between the ages of 5-17.
  • Legal residents of Washington State.
  • Diagnosed with a severe psychiatric disorder.
  • A risk to themselves or others ― or are gravely disabled ― which warrants care under the supervision of a psychiatrist.
  • Youth whose community-based mental health resources did not meet their treatment needs.

Admission process

The voluntary application process starts with contacting your local BH-ASO or MCO representative.

A local committee will make a recommendation on whether or not to proceed with a referral to CLIP. If a referral is made, the BH-ASO or MCO CLIP liaison gathers all the application materials and contacts the CLIP administration office. The CLIP administration office is the final authority for determining a child's eligibility for admission.

Learn more about accessing CLIP for your youth on the CLIP administration office website.

How can I learn about involuntary commitment?

Where are CLIP facilities located?

There are four CLIP inpatient psychiatric facilities that have a total of 84 beds. 

  • The state psychiatric hospital for children and youth, Child Study and Treatment Center (CSTC), in Lakewood. CSTC is under the authority of the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) within the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). 
  • Contracted community-based CLIP facilities:
    • Two Rivers Landing, Yakima
    • Tamarack Center, Spokane
    • Pearl Youth Residence, Tacoma

What CLIP is not

CLIP is not designed for the long-term placement of children and youth who need housing or a place to grow up. CLIP is a course of psychiatric treatment with a focus on stabilization and skill development/acquisition that aims to reintegrate children and youth back to their homes, families, communities, or long-term supportive environments, as soon as deemed clinically appropriate.