Katie A. Settlement Agreement Implementation
As a result of the Settlement Agreement in the Katie A. v. Bontá lawsuit, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) agreed to take a series of actions that transformed the way California children and youth who are in foster care, or who are at imminent risk of foster care placement, receive access to mental health services.
The Settlement Agreement includes the following objectives:
- Facilitate the provision of an array of services delivered in a coordinated, comprehensive, community-based fashion that combines service access, planning, delivery, and transition into a coherent and all-inclusive approach;
- Support the development and delivery of a service structure and a fiscal system that supports a core practices and services model;
- Support an effective and sustainable solution, that will involve standards and methods to achieve quality-based oversight, along with training and education that support the practice and fiscal models;
- Address the need for children and youth with more intensive needs to receive medically necessary mental health services in the child’s or youth’s own home, a family setting, or the most homelike setting appropriate to the child’s or youth’s needs, in order to facilitate reunification, and to meet the child’s or youth’s needs for safety, permanence, and well-being;
- Utilize the principles outlined in the Core Practice Model (this model was updated and is now called the Integrated Core Practice Model) principles and components, including:
- A strong engagement with, and participation of, the child or youth and the family;
- Focus on the identification of child or youth and family needs and strengths when assessing and planning services;
- Teaming across formal and informal support systems; and
- Use of Child and Family Teams (CFTs) to identify strengths and needs, make plans and track progress, and provide Intensive Home Based Services (IHBS);
- Assist, support, and encourage each eligible child or youth to achieve and maintain the highest possible level of health, well-being, and self-sufficiency;
- Reduce timelines to permanency and lengths of stay within the child welfare system; and
- Reduce reliance on congregate care.
Note: While the Katie A. Settlement only concerned children and youth in foster care, or at imminent risk of placement in foster care, membership in the Katie A. class or subclass is no longer a requirement for receiving medically necessary Intensive Care Coordination (ICC), IHBS, and Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC). Therefore, a child or youth need not have an open child welfare services case to be considered for receipt of ICC, IHBS, or TFC. If you have any comments or questions, please forward them to KatieA@dhcs.ca.gov.
Emily Q. Settlement Agreement Implementation
As a result of the Settlement Agreement in the Emily Q. v. Bontá class action lawsuit, the former Department of Mental Health, and DHCS, with local county Mental Health Plan (MHP) agencies worked to increase utilization of Therapeutic Behavioral Services (TBS) and ensured accessible, effective, and sustained TBS for children and their families in the Emily Q. class in California.
The Emily Q. Settlement Agreement includes the following objectives:
- Prevents the need for a higher level of care, and ensure that children or youth are placed in the least restrictive residential environment.
- Helps children and youth, families, foster parents, group home staff, and school staff address behavioral challenges and supports in a variety of settings.
- Provides 1 to 1 behavioral support to reduce and/or manage challenging behaviors, and develops strategies and skills to increase positive behavior.
- TBS is provided as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for the child, and is not a stand-alone service.
- Assists the family and the child or youth with maintaining the family unit and avoids a possible residential placement.
- Identifies the child or youth and family needs and strengths when assessing and planning services.
- TBS has flexible service provisions based on the needs of the child or youth.