Skip to main content

What to Expect at the Eating Disorders Center

Learn more about the steps to receive treatment at the Eating Disorders Center at Children's Mercy.

Making an appointment

A primary care provider (PCP) is a key partner in your child’s long-term recovery. Because of this, we recommend your child first visit their PCP for your concerns. After your appointment with your PCP, you can complete our electronic intake form.

There is typically a waiting period between your initial intake and your first appointment. Our medical team will coordinate with your child’s primary care provider to help them manage your child’s symptoms during this time.

Beginning the treatment process at Children’s Mercy

When you meet with the Eating Disorders Center outpatient team for the first time, we will do a comprehensive evaluation of your child. We generally follow these steps:

  1. Determine medical safety—Since eating disorders impact every part of the body, our specially-trained providers will assess the impact of the eating disorder on all aspects of your child’s physical and mental health. The doctor will take a detailed health history, complete a physical exam, and order any needed laboratory or radiology tests to get a complete picture of your child’s health.

  2. Create a treatment plan—A care team will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan for your child. Parents and caregivers are vital members of the care team, so you will always be included in the decision-making process.

  3. Begin treatment—Based on the above recommendations, we will connect you with the rest of your specialized care team, who will work with you and your child to determine treatment goals, frequency of visits and ongoing care needs. We highly encourage all caregivers to attend visits, as you are an essential part of the team.

  4. Continue care at home—From your first visit, you, as parents and caregivers, will learn to support your child through treatment and towards recovery. You are an essential part of the team by providing the needed structure around nutrition and activity. Attending appointments will also teach you, your child, and your family how to cope with and recover from the difficult thoughts and emotions that come with having an eating disorder.

Next steps

Your family will continue to meet regularly with your Eating Disorders Center team for as long as needed. Because of the vital role of family members in your child’s recovery, caregivers are involved in a portion of every visit. Your child will also have opportunities to meet with their team one-on-one as needed.

Additional resources

For families
: National Eating Disorders Association

For health care providers: International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals

Eating Disorders Center Patient Family Advisory Council

The Eating Disorders Center PFAC supports the highest standard of excellence in eating disorder treatment at Children's Mercy through meaningful collaboration between families and hospital staff.