Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I make an appointment?

Call our Intake Specialist at (515) 244-2267

What is the waiting time to receive services?

Initial appointments are generally scheduled within 10 working days of your call.

Where is the Child Guidance Center located in Des Moines?

The Child Guidance Center is located at 808 Fifth Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa. We are just across the street (west side) from Veteran's Auditorium. From the south, go north on Sixth Avenue and look for our parking lot on the right. From the north, go south on Fifth Avenue until you see our building. Parking is free in our lot.

Who is eligible to receive mental health services?

Children from birth to 18 years old and their caretakers. Consent from a parent or legal guardian is required. Mental health services are provided to caretakers / parents as related to their children's mental health.

What is the cost of receiving services?

Fees are based on the cost of the service. Fees, subsidies and co-payments differ for every child depending on insurance, gross income, geographic location and size of a family.

How do I know if my child needs mental health therapy?

Your child might need mental health therapy if he/she:

  • Has changed his/her behavior or mood
  • Social issues
  • Risky behaviors
  • Is dropping grades
  • Is irritable all the time
  • If school or other individuals who work with your child indicate there may be a problem

What happens at the intake session?

After checking in, the child and parent will meet with an Intake Specialist to complete insurance and legal paperwork. The family will then meet with a member of the staff. The purpose of the intake session is to gather information about the problems, what treatment been tried, family history, developmental history of the child and educational history. A full mental health evaluation and observation of family interactions is completed. Goals for treatment are established.

What can I expect my child/family to be doing?

There will be weekly to bi-weekly therapy appointments with the clinician for individual and/or family therapy to work on the problems. Clinicians continually make assessments on how the child/family is progressing.

What if my child needs a higher level of care?

The agency has a residential program available if more intensive therapy is needed. Child therapists will coordinate this services and provide access to hospitals or other services.

What about medication?

The Child Guidance Center has a psychiatric team who evaluate and manage medications. Medications are only available for clients participating in ongoing therapy.