​​​​​​​​Assisted Outpatient Treatment

Assembly Bill 1421 established the Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Demonstration Project Act of 2002, known as Laura's Law, which provides court-ordered community treatment for individuals with a history of repeated hospitalization or incarceration, or a history of violent behavior to self or others. AOT permits California Counties to utilize courts, probation, and mental health systems to address the needs of individuals unable to participate in community mental health treatment programs without supervision. To read AB 1421 in full, please visit the California Legislative Information webpage.

DHCS is annually required to report measured program outcomes to the Legislature on or before May 1. The Le​gislative Report​ evaluates the effectiveness of the strategies employed by programs in reducing homelessness, hospitalizations, and involvement with local law enforcement by persons in the program.​

AOT Participation

The following counties have opted to implement AOT services:

Alameda | Contra Costa | El Dorado | Fresno | Humboldt | Kern | Kings | Los Angeles | Marin | Mariposa | Mendocino | Napa | Nevada | Orange | Placer | Riverside | Sacramento | San Diego | San Francisco | San Luis Obispo | San Mateo | Santa Barbara | Santa Clara | Shasta | Siskiyou | Solano | Stanislaus | Tehama | Tulare | Ventura | Yolo

The remaining counties elected to opt out through the passage of a resolution, adopted by the Board of Supervisors:

Alpine | Amador | Butte | Calaveras | Colusa | Del Norte | Glenn | Imperial | Inyo | Lake | Lassen | Madera | Merced | Modoc | Mono | Monterey | Plumas | San Benito | San Bernardino | San Joaquin| Santa Cruz | Sierra | Sonoma | Sutter/Yuba | Trinity | Tuolumne



On September 30, 2021, Senate Bill (SB) 507 amended the current legislation associated with the Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program, to expand the criteria for when AOT services may be court-ordered to include the requirement that AOT is needed to prevent a relapse or deterioration that would be likely to result in grave disability or serious harm to the person or to others, without also requiring that a person's condition be substantially deteriorating.

This bill additionally requires the examining mental health professional to determine if the subject of the AOT petition has the capacity to give informed consent regarding psychotropic medication in their affidavit to the court, and allows the subject of the petition or the examining mental health professional to appear before the court for testimony by videoconferencing. Furthermore, the bill authorizes the filing of a petition to obtain AOT under the existing petition procedures, for an “eligible conservatee," as defined in SB 507.

Counties should consult their Board of Supervisors and local stakeholders for integration of the SB 507 requirements and should have an implementation plan in place. Please note: The implementation plan does not need to be submitted to Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).

To read SB 507 in full, please visit the California Legislative Information webpage.

AB 1976

Assembly Bill (AB) 1976 required all California counties to offer Assisted Outpatient Treatment beginning July 1, 2021. Counties may offer AOT services either independently, or could choose to partner with neighboring counties. Counties are permitted to opt out from participation through the passage of a resolution, adopted by the Board of Supervisors, that identifies the reasons for opting out, and any facts or circumstances used in making that decision. Counties are not required to submit annual notification regarding AOT participation. In addition, the bill repealed the sunset date of Laura's Law, thereby extending the program indefinitely, and prohibits a county from reducing existing voluntary mental health programs as a result of implementation of this bill.

To read AB 1976 in full, please visit the California Legislative Information webpage.​

Training and Technical Assistance

For assistance with AOT implementation and reporting requirements, please contact DHCSAOT@dhcs.ca.gov.

​​DHCS Resources​

​ Any questions related to the AOT program may be directed to DHCSAOT@dhcs.ca.gov

Last modified date: 10/4/2022 3:12 PM