Inpatient care is expensive and should ideally be provided for children and adolescents with the most serious psychiatric disorders. However, only little is known about inpatient treatment, e.g. the factors influencing hospital admission, the content of care in the hospital, the appropriate norms for the duration of inpatient stays, the inpatient arrangements that result in the best outcomes, or connection with necessary aftercare services. There are many methodological problems with existing research. However, it can cautiously be concluded that psychiatric hospitalisation of children and adolescents is often beneficial, particularly if special aspects of treatment are fulfilled (e.g. good therapeutic alliance, treatment with a cognitive-based problem-solving skills training package, or planned discharge) and aftercare services are available. The continuum-of-care model is promising because it provides opportunities to achieve better integration between inpatient interventions and aftercare services.