The Admission Process

Finding the right treatment program and the appropriate level of care can be overwhelming. Our admissions specialists are here to help determine the best level of care to fit your child’s clinical needs and determine if Hillside is the right place for your family. In order to help you in this process, our team will need to have information on the treatment history and clinical presentation from you and your child’s providers.

Step 1 – Complete the application for admissions

Once you have reached out to our admissions team, one of the admissions coordinators will send you the Getting Started email. You will have access to complete the application for admissions from this email. The application for admissions will help us understand your child’s struggles from the family’s perspective, the social history information, along with necessary information for verifying insurance benefits.

Step 2 - Submit clinical documentation

The treatment team at Hillside needs to see clinical documentation from a mental health professional that clearly outlines: diagnosis, current medications, historical information describing how the child’s symptoms began and have progressed, behaviors within the last 2-4 weeks that necessitate placement in higher levels of therapeutic treatment, and a description of interventions that have been tried to address the issues.

Step 3 - Documentation review

Once our admissions team receives the completed application for admission from the family and the clinical documentation from the current treating providers, our treatment team will review the information to determine if your child would be a good fit for Hillside’s program. This process usually takes 24-48 business hours.

Step 4 - Insurance authorization

If the child is approved for admission, the admissions team will then work with the child’s referring provider and insurance company to secure authorization for the treatment program recommended, and to schedule an admission date.  It is during this time that the additional documents required for admission will be gathered.

Step 5 - Admission to Hillside

Once an admission date is scheduled, your admissions coordinator will email you consent forms to complete prior to admission. You will also receive additional documents and communication regarding program orientation to help you and your child prepare for admission to Hillside.

Please submit all documentation to admissions@hside.orgYou can find links to our admissions documents and frequently asked questions below.

Our Admissions Team


Meghan Grainger

Director of Admissions

Michelle Kelley

Admissions Coordinator

Mellonea Gleaton

Admissions Coordinator

Devin Spero

Admissions Coordinator

How long does the admission process take?

Once our admissions team receives the completed application for admission from you and the clinical referral from your current treating provider, the treatment team typically takes 24-48 business hours to approve an admission or recommend alternative treatments.

If your child has been approved to admit to one of Hillside’s programs, our team will work with you to schedule an admission date or give an estimate of when the next available space will be.

What about school?

Each of our programs offer different levels of academic support.

For Residential Treatment Program: Clients are enrolled into full-time school and attend classes on campus from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. during the school year. Hillside’s Conant School is part of Atlanta Public Schools and is independently accredited through Cognia. (hyperlink Conant School to the school page).

For Experience DBT Day Program: Clients are usually on a hospital homebound agreement for academic work and are given approximately 8 hours during the week to work independently on school assignments.

For Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program: Most clients in Virtual IOP continue to attend school while participating in the program. Depending on the school schedule, some minor arrangement may need to be made to accommodate treatment. As the situation differs for each client, our treatment team will discuss how to manage school and treatment with each family prior to starting treatment.

For Intensive In-Home Therapy: Our therapists work around the client and family schedule. Most of our clients in Intensive In-Home Therapy continue to go to school and participate in treatment outside of school hours.

How do I know which program or level of care my child needs?

Reach out to our admissions team! Our admissions team members will be happy to help you navigate this treatment journey. We will ask you some questions to gain a better understanding of symptoms and history of treatment to help direct you to the appropriate Hillside program.

Your child’s current treating provider may also be a great resource for you and your family in recommending the appropriate level of care. Since your current treating provider is already familiar with your child’s clinical presentation, your provider can often give you a clinical recommendation to fit the clinical need.

How long will my child be in treatment?

Every child is different. The length of stay depends on factors such as your child’s clinical presentation, the treatment program curriculum, the goals for treatment, as well as aspects such as insurance funding or personal funding.  Since most of Hillside’s clients are engaged in a more intensive level of care, our treatment team will recommend continued treatment at lower levels of care to maintain progress after leaving Hillside.

Help for Military Families

As of October 2018, Hillside is proud to be in-network and accept Tricare Humana Military Insurance. We are so pleased to open up opportunities for mental health services for military families and their children. Our partnership with Tricare means our military service members can find the therapeutic services for their children’s mental health needs.

Our location is perfect for families living near bases throughout the southeast, including:

  • Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay and Robins Air Force Base in Georgia
  • Redstone Arsenal Army Base, Fort Rucker and Maxwell Airforce Base in Alabama
  • Multiple military facilities in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Military establishments in close proximity to Beaufort, South Carolina

The expansion of Tricare’s benefits to dependents for medically and psychologically necessary mental health care means the children of military families can take advantage of Hillside’s programs.

Tricare Covered Services at Hillside

Our highly qualified team at Hillside is committed to supporting the mental health and well-being of Tricare beneficiaries. We are proud to serve America’s heroes and their families through our unparalleled programming and therapies.

Military families have unique stressors and needs. Being part of a military family means you not only have to handle the same difficulties that civilians face but also additional challenges that are unique to military life, such as:

  • Adjusting to a service member’s deployment
  • Frequent re-assignments and changing schools
  • Irregular schedules or routines
  • Living far away from family and friends
  • Heightened security risks
  • And more
Current Version
June 4, 2024
Written By: Gaan Akers, LPC, NCC
Edited By: Gabriella Marvin
July 25, 2022
Medically Reviewed By: Gaan Akers, LPC, NCC