The Eating Disorders Center (EDC) at Children’s Mercy provides outpatient family-centered care for children and teens eating disorders involving restriction of intake, body image concerns, and/or behaviors intended to manage weight. Because our family-centered approach is best for children and younger adolescents, new patients must be 17 years old or younger when referred to our center. For older teens, (e.g., 16-17) our team will evaluate if a family-centered approach is a match for them as part of the assessment process.
The first stop in the EDC is a multidisciplinary consult visit with a medical provider, psychologist, social worker, and dietitian to fully assess your child/teen’s concerns and collaborate with you to make the best plan possible to help your child/teen. This may involve starting treatment within the EDC or helping you connect with other services or programs in the community that are a better match for your child/teen’s needs. Because our approach is not a fit for everyone, we encourage you to continue working with any medical and mental health providers you already have.
Our care team
Our team consists of pediatric and adolescent specialists in medical care, therapy and nutrition who work collaboratively with your family to care for your child or teen
Team members and consultants to the Eating Disorders Center include:
Adolescent medicine medical providers
Family focused, collaborative care
Children’s Mercy is the only eating disorder treatment center in the Kansas City region that is entirely focused on children/teens and families.
Our outpatient program provides medical care, family and individual therapy, and nutrition services, all in one place. This allows for greater communication and collaboration between you and your team members.
We incorporate the latest science-based approaches to create a treatment plan that is tailored to the unique needs of your child/teen.
Comprehensive treatment for children and teens with eating disorders
The team at the Eating Disorders Center works closely together with one another and with you to provide truly collaborative care for your child. We have dedicated times throughout the week for our staff members to coordinate care, evaluate progress and update treatment goals for each family served by our program.
Some children/teen benefit most from our Family-based Treatment (FBT) approach (also known as the Maudsley Method). These children/teens will have a medical provider and FBT-trained therapist on their care team, with additional services as needed.
Other children/teens may benefit from a treatment team that includes a psychologist who specializes in a variety of evidence-based treatments, a medical provider, and a nutritionist, with other services as needed.
In every case, the specialists who are caring for your child/teen are always working jointly with your child/teen, your family and other team members to collaborate on your child/teen's treatment plan and progress.
Finding the right eating disorder treatment program
Our program is a great fit for children and adolescents who will be living with their family for at least the next year and will have family support for the 12-18 months following the beginning of treatment.
Because of this treatment model our focus is on children and teens ages 9-17. We are not equipped to serve younger children. We also do not see older teens as new patients, although we continue to follow older teens who are already in our program to provide continuity of care.
Children’s Mercy is a comprehensive outpatient treatment program. We do not provide residential treatment, but do provide ongoing medical inpatient consultation at Children’s Mercy when medical hospitalization is needed. The inpatient team works closely with outpatient providers to coordinate a seamless discharge plan if outpatient care is appropriate.
As always, if your child/teen is experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.
Please work with your primary care provider so they can refer you to our clinic if we are the best place for your child/teen. Seeing your primary care provider will also help us have important information before seeing your child/teen and will help you decide if seeking care with us is the best next step.
For questions or more information about our program, call (913) 696-5070 to speak with a team member.