The study explored experiences of parents whose children received inpatient care at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Ward of the Icelandic University and State Hospital. Its purpose was to develop knowledge that can be used to improve care. The research method was hermeneutical phenomenology. Research data was gathered by interviewing fifteen parents. The Following themes, which illuminate the parents’ experience, emerged from the interpretation of the data. (1) Human touch; which demonstrates how important it is that staff relate to parents in a caring and responsive manner. (2) Guidance; describes the parents’ need to be able to rely on a designated case manager to guide them through their difficult journey. (3) Authoritarian professionals; reflects situation when parents experience that health care professionals, in power of their expertise, exclude them from decision making regarding the welfare of their children (4) Finally, the diagnoses assembly-line and limited services refers theme refers to the way in which the psychiatric institution is able to produce diagnoses and assessments, but has limited means to treat the problems labeled and described by the diagnoses and assessments. In the interpretation of these themes proposals are made of how to improve psychiatric care for children and their families and the findings of the study are put in a theoretical perspective.