​​​Operations Branch​​

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Youth Services Section

The Youth Services Section (YSS) consists of three units and administers non-Medi-Cal funded programs for youth ages 12 to 26.  Funding for YSS programs are funded through grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Proposition 64 Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account. 

YSS Questions/Inquiries

YSS related questions/inquiries may be submitted to the following dedicated email account for a timely response:

Email: DHCSYouthServices@dhcs.ca.gov

Adolescent Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Best Practices Guide

To support California's publicly funded adolescent Substance Use Disorder treatment programs, DHCS developed a companion guide based on research and feedback from various stakeholders. Counties and their funded providers should utilize the Adolescent SUD Best Practices Guide to specialize treatment for adolescents with substance use disorders and best serve the complex needs of this population.

Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Best Practices Guide OCTOBER 2020

Project Cal-Well

Project Cal-Well is a collaborative project between DHCS and the California Department of Education.  This 5-year SAMHSA grant is intended to increase mental health awareness among students, parents, school and district staff, and communities; provide professional development that supports mental wellness to school and district personnel; and strengthen partnerships  between county behavioral health and local education agencies.  DHCS' role in this grant project is to provide training, education and resources about youth behavioral health to local education agencies and support Student Mental Health Policy Workgroups.  For more information about selected sub-grantees for this project visit the Project Cal-Well webpage. 

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in California, for both youth and adults. In an effort to address suicide prevention statewide to reduce the severity, duration and incidence of suicidal behaviors, the DHCS YSS coordinates with a variety of stakeholders and other state agencies on suicide prevention efforts to:

1.    provide resources and trainings to youth serving agencies, parents and youth;

2.    contract for a 24/7 Crisis Line and Crisis Chat; and,

3.    maintain a suicide prevention mailbox that responds primarily to school administrators and county behavioral health offices. 

DHCS Suicide Prevention Fact Sheet


National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-TALK (8255)

California HOPE

California HOPE (CalHOPE) provides virtual crisis counseling in order to strengthen existing community support systems, and helps survivors understand their reactions to the current situation.

To learn more visit the CalHOPE webpage.

  • CalHOPE Warm Line: 833-317-HOPE (4673)

Additional Resources

  • Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission: MHOAC


Zero Suicide 

For more information on Suicide Prevention, Contact us at: suicideprevention@dhcs.ca.gov.

Proposition 64

Proposition 64 Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account

On November 8, 2016, Proposition 64 was passed by voters, allowing adults age 21 years and older to possess and use marijuana for non-medical purposes. Proposition 64 created two new taxes, the revenues of which are deposited into the California Cannabis Tax Fund. Current law allocates, after other specified disbursements, 60 percent of the remaining fund to the Youth Education Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account to the Department of Health Care Services to implement programs for youth. 

The Proposition 64 Advisory Group was established in 2019 to advise the department on planning, implementation and evaluation activities of the DHCS community projects funded by the YEPEITA.  For meeting information and members visit the Prop64 webpage.

Elevate Youth CA  is a prevention program funded by the Proposition 64 YEPEITA, serving low-income youth ages 12 to 26 in communities of color, tribal and LGBTQ+ communities across the state.  The program provides for necessary peer-to-peer support, mentoring, substance use prevention education and youth social justice activities in communities disproportionally affected by the war on drugs.  For more information, please visit the Elevate Youth CA webpage. 

Cohort 3

Request for Application (RFA)

DHCS is seeking qualified applicants to implement and provide technical assistance and training for Round 3 of Elevate Youth California. The RFA and Scope of Work is available below for review.

Request for Application

Exhibit A - Scope of Work

Exhibit B - Price and Quote Template

Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success Grant Program (SPF PFS)

The  Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success Grant Program (SPF PFS) is a 5-year grant awarded to California by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  The purpose of this grant program is to prevent the onset and reduce the progression of substance abuse and its related problems while strengthening prevention capacity and infrastructure at the community and state level.  California utilized SAMHSA's Strategic Prevention Framework to identify the priority for this grant which is prescription drug misuse among youth ages 12 to 25 in rural California.  The following counties were selected for the SPF PFS project and implement public awareness and education strategies in their communities:


The SPF PFS grant also requires states to strengthen state-level strategic planning capacity, DHCS established the grant-required workgroups to support this effort:

Evidence-Based Practices Workgroup
The purpose of the Evidence-Based Practices Workgroup (EBPW) is to expand the statewide use of evidence-based practices, programs, policies and strategies to positively impact statewide outcomes for prevention.  In coordination with the University of California, Los Angeles, the EPBW will define criteria for evidence-informed prevention programs and practices that best meet California's diverse needs. Visit the guidance document on Identifying and Selecting Evidence-Based Interventions.

State Epidemiological Workgroup

The purpose of the State Epidemiological Workgroup (SEW) is to enhance statewide analytical capacity by functioning as an expert data advisory group that recognizes the importance of regular statewide evaluations to monitor and track outcomes.  The SEW coordinates efforts related to the following:

  • Peer review data, data analysis, and evaluation methodologies and reports
  • Provide guidance to data collection for the County Indicator Toolkits that aid in the development of county-required Strategic Prevention Plans. 
  • Review, analyze and report trends related to substance use and mental health issues and disorders that cause harm.
  • Provide editorial feedback to DHCS on the California Biennial Student Survey (CHKS).
  • Support the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard through the SPF PFS epidemiological contract with the California Department of Public Health.

California Friday Night Live Program

The California Friday Night Live Program aims to engage youth as active leaders and resources in their community and to build partnerships for positive and healthy youth development.  DHCS provides stipends to counties to support widespread implementation of the FNL program.  DHCS also contracts with the Tulare County Office of Education, California Friday Night Live Partnership to provide no-cost technical assistance and training to providers ensuring program components are followed with fidelity.  For questions regarding Friday Night Live email DHCSFNL@dhcs.ca.gov or to request technical assistance on the Friday Night Live program, please visit the Friday Night Live webpage.

Prevention and Family Services Section

The Prevention and Family Services Section (PFSS), within the Operations Branch of the Community Services Division (CSD), provides leadership, technical assistance and support to counties funded by the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Primary Prevention Set-Aside and Perinatal Set-Aside. Additionally, PFSS collaboratively supports the Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program, Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community, and Women and Children's Treatment Services Program.  To contact someone in the PFSS:

Primary Prevention Services

Perinatal Treatment Services

The Women and Children's Residential Treatment (WCRTS) program consists of a network of residential perinatal substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programs in the following six counties: Alameda, Los Angeles, Marin, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Joaquin. These counties must pursue specific goals and outcomes in accordance with Health and Safety Code §11757.6 for pregnant and parenting women in residential SUD treatment settings.

Assisted Outpatient Treatment Services

Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), also referred as Laura's Law, is an optional county implemented program that provides intensive court-ordered treatment in the community for individuals with severe untreated mental illness and a history of violence or repeated hospitalization.

Email: DHCSAOT@dhcs.ca.gov

Health Stores for a Healthy Community

The Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community (HSHC) campaign is a statewide collaboration between tobacco and alcohol use prevention, sexually transmitted disease prevention, and nutrition partners. The goal is to improve the health of Californians through changes in community stores and to educate people on how in-store product marketing influences the consumption of unhealthy products. For more information, please visit the Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community webpage.


Federal Grants Section

The Federal Grants Section (FGS), within the Operations Branch of the Community Services Division (CSD), currently administers five federal grants that are awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant; the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant; State Opioid Response 1 and 2 grants; and the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness grant.

Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG)

Mandated by Congress, SAMHSA administers the SABG noncompetitive, formula grant through SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) Performance Partnership Branch, in collaboration with the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Division of State Programs. The SABG is authorized by Section 1921 of Title XIX, Part B, Subpart II and III of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act. The SABG implementing regulations are found in Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 96 (45 CFR 96); and the SABG Program is subject to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements are found in 45 CFR Part 75.

DHCS acts as a pass-through agency to provide SABG funding to local non-federal governments to either provide SUD services directly or by contracting with local SUD providers. The SABG Program's objective is to help plan, implement, and evaluate activities that prevent and treat SUDs. Grantees use the SABG program for prevention, treatment, recovery support, and other services to supplement Medicaid. Please view SAMHSA's website or their SABG Fact Sheet for more information.

SABG Behavioral Health Assessment and Plan (SABG Application)

As a recipient of the SABG, DHCS must complete and submit a biennial SABG Application to SAMHSA outlining the State's plan to monitor grant funded SUD prevention and treatment programs throughout California. In compliance with federal statute, the SABG Application, which includes details about substance abuse services in the State, is made available to the public.

Prior to submission to SAMHSA on October 1st (or the next business day) of each odd‑numbered year, DHCS publishes a draft Application, for a public comment period of ten business days. Please visit the DHCS SABG webpage for information on how to access the draft application.

For more information on the SABG and the Federal granting agency, see SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Block Grants webpage.

Statewide Needs Assessment and Planning Report (SNAP)

The DHCS SNAP Report is a biennial needs assessment required of all single state agencies receiving SABG funds. DHCS submits the SNAP Report in the same year as the SABG Application. The SNAP Report describes the State's plan to provide and improve SUD services over the next two state fiscal years, and is intended to meet the reporting requirements in accordance with 45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section 96.133(a)(1-6).

The SNAP Report provides a general analysis of statewide SUD data and outlines DHCS's strategic initiatives for the next two SFYs, based on the collected data. The SNAP aligns state-specific goals with the five priority areas and five core principles identified in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Strategic Plan FY 2019-2023, and DHCS's Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care 2018. Through the SNAP process, DHCS strives to make strategic decisions in awarding SABG funds for overall improvements to SUD prevention, treatment, and recovery infrastructure in California.

The final SNAP Report is incorporated into the SABG Application in response to Application Planning Step 2, and is also available on the DHCS SABG webpage at this link.

SABG Behavioral Health Report (SABG Report)

As a recipient of the SABG, DHCS must submit an annual FFY SABG Report to SAMHSA by December 1st​ (or the next business day) to report state agency expenditures projected in the biennial SABG Application, as well as report progress on goals identified in the SNAP Report. To access California's current, approved SABG Report, or a prior FFY Application Report, visit SAMHSA's Web-based Grant Application System (WebBGAS); Username: citizenca; Password: citizen.

Annual Synar Report (ASR)

DHCS submits the ASR to SAMHSA describing California's efforts to enforce youth tobacco access laws and the State's future plans to reduce youth tobacco access rates, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 300x–26. States are required to effectuate laws prohibiting selling or distributing tobacco products to any individual under age 18 and compliance is enforced through random, unannounced inspections.

DHCS's draft ASR is made available for a two-week public comment prior to submission to SAMHSA on December 30th. Please visit the DHCS SABG webpage for information on how to access the draft report.

DHCS's SABG Policy Manual

The SABG Policy Manual (Policy Manual) offers guidance to counties that contract with DHCS for SABG funding to provide authorized substance use disorder (SUD) prevention, treatment and recovery support services. The Policy Manual provides comprehensive information regarding Federal law authorizing the SABG program and implementing regulations as well as State laws and DHCS policies and procedures for operationalizing the requirements governing the SABG program.

Funding Opportunities and Grant Resources

Letters of Support

As the Single State Agency for Mental Health and SUD, DHCS is the entity responsible for providing letters of support, and providing guidance regarding an applicant's compliance with SAMHSA's discretionary grant requirements which may be included in some federal funding opportunity announcements (FOA). It is the responsibility of the applicant to carefully read each FOA and understand its unique requirements. For guidance on requesting a letter of support, complying with the Public Health System Impact Statement (PHSIS) and/or E.O. 12372 requirements, please refer to DHCS's guidance for Discretionary Grant Requirements document.

For more information, please visit the DHCS webpage for Funding Opportunities and Grant Resources.

Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG)

The SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) provides grant funds to establish or expand an organized community-based system of care for providing non-Title XIX mental health services to children with serious emotional disturbances (SED) and adults with serious mental illness (SMI). CGMS is responsible for preparing and submitting the State's annual application to SAMHSA in anticipation of the upcoming fiscal year, in addition to submitting fiscal and performance data for the past fiscal year. These funds are used to:

  • Carry out the State plan contained in the application;
  • Evaluate programs and services, and;
  • Conduct planning, administration, and educational activities related to the provision of services.

The MHBG program targets:

  • Adults with serious mental illnesses. Includes persons age 18 and older who have a diagnosable behavioral, mental, or emotional condition—as defined by the Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders. Their condition substantially interferes with, or limits, one or more major life activities, such as:
    • Basic daily living (for example, eating or dressing)
    • Instrumental living (for example, taking prescribed medications or getting around the community)
    • Participating in a family, school, or workplace
  • Children with serious emotional disturbances. Includes persons up to age 18 who have a diagnosable behavioral, mental, or emotional issue (as defined by the DSM). This condition results in a functional impairment that substantially interferes with, or limits, a child's role or functioning in family, school, or community activities.

As the California Single State Agency and pass-through entity responsible for administering the MHBG, CGMS develops the annual application materials that counties use to request MHBG funds each fiscal year. CGMS reviews the submitted applications, including detailed budgets and program narratives, and collaborates with the counties to ensure proposed programs comply with state and federal laws, rules, and regulations. 

Through the successful partnerships with the 57 California counties participating in the MHBG, this block grant funds a wide variety of critically needed services that would otherwise be underfunded or nonexistent. Examples of programs administered by these counties include those that focus on intensive outpatient psychiatric care, early serious mental illness (ESMI) intervention, criminal justice reintegration, and dual-diagnosis services for those with mental health and substance use disorder issues, among countless others.

Please visit the DHCS Community Mental Health Services Block Grant webpage for more information.

State Opioid Response 1 and 2 (California MAT Expansion Project)

The goal of California's State Opioid Response (SOR) 1 and 2 grants are to increase the prevention, treatment and recovery service activities initiated within the California MAT Expansion Project. The project aims to increase access to treatment and reduce opioid overdose deaths through more than 30 programs focused on prevention, treatment, and recovery activities. The project has a special focus on populations with limited MAT access, including youth, rural areas and American Indian & Alaska Native tribal communities.

The California MAT Expansion Project is composed of several projects which are led by a diverse team of stakeholders and partners throughout the state. The following are some of the projects included in this grant:

Addiction Treatment Starts Here: Primary Care, Behavioral Health, & Community Partnerships

The Center for Care Innovation's Addiction Treatment Starts Here program includes three learning collaboratives designed to increase access to MAT through primary care, behavioral health and community partnerships.

California Bridge Program

 The California Bridge Program is developing hospitals and emergency rooms into primary access points for the treatment of acute symptoms of SUDs – enhancing and increasing access to 24/7 treatment in every community in the state.

California Department of Public Health Projects

 The California Department of Public Health will incorporate academic detailing into health plans and health payer systems, establish a fentanyl reporting system, and work to improve the functionality of the opioid surveillance dashboard.

California Hub & Spoke System

The California Hub and Spoke System consists of narcotic treatment program (Hubs) and office-based treatment settings (Spokes) that provide ongoing care and treatment. The program aims to increase the number of providers prescribing buprenorphine for opioid use disorder.

California Poison Control System

The University of California, San Francisco is building expertise of opioid overdose, opioid withdrawal, and initiation of buprenorphine for pharmacists and physicians staffing the California Poison Control Center, leveraging the existing scope, ease of access, and current CPCS/emergency department consultation relationships.

California Substance Use Line

The University of California, San Francisco is expanding the current 24/7 MAT mentorship network to cover all new emergency departments, primary care, mental health, and hospital access points.

California Youth Opioid Response

This program aims to increase access through expansion of current and new services for MAT and OUD prevention for youth & families.

Choose Change California

The Choose Change California campaign launched in 2019 in a statewide multi-media campaign, www.chooseMAT.org, to promote the positive message that treatment for the disease of opioid addiction is effective, evidenced-based and available.  So far, the effort has resulted in 1.2 billion impressions in television, radio and billboards ads, in multiple languages and culturally sensitive outlets, with the outcome of over 290,000 views to the website linking individuals to treatment.

Continuity Consulting Projects

The California Conservation Corps is performing initial assessments to determine prevention, treatment and/or recovery activities that can address the opioid crisis.

County Touchpoints

This project aims to increase awareness of treatment resources, how to access MAT services, and overdose prevention and intervention tactics for various criminal justice populations.

CURES Optimization

The California Department of Justice will support the optimization and performance of California's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database.

Drug Take-Back

The California Product Stewardship Council will support statewide drug take-back programs in approved locations.

DUI MAT Integration

This effort includes California Highway Patrol trainings to increase awareness of drug use and impairment and the creation of linkages between DUI treatment programs and MAT resources and referrals.

Expanding MAT in County Criminal Justice Settings

This program focuses on expanding access to at least two forms of MAT to persons in jails and drug courts.

MAT Access Points

The aim of this project is to support MAT start-up activities and/or enhancement efforts in at least 200 MAT Access Points throughout California, with the goal of increasing the number of patients with substance-use disorders treated with medications, counseling and other recovery services.

MAT Toolkits

Harbage Consulting is developing a series of educational toolkits about the benefits of MAT, and to promote access to this evidence-based treatment, and to promote access to this evidence-based treatment.

Mentored Learning

This project supports the expansion of the mentored learning project led by the California Society of Addiction Medicine.

Mother & Baby Substance Exposure Initiative

This project aims to decrease neonatal abstinence syndrome severity and length of stay in the hospital and increase the number of mothers in long-term recovery through MAT.

Naloxone Distribution Project

The Naloxone Distribution Project aims to reduce opioid overdose deaths through the provision of free naloxone, in its nasal spray formulation.

NTP Treatment Capacity

The goal of this project is to expand MAT capacity in California's Narcotic Treatment Programs, with an emphasis on increasing access to buprenorphine.

Primary Care Residency

This project will educate and train health care professionals about addiction medicine by incorporating addiction medicine & MAT curriculum into California residency programs.

SUD Workforce: Recovery & MAT Summit

This workforce training summit will provide education and resources pertaining to MAT, tools to address and reduce stigma, and ways the workforce can join California's current efforts to address SUD emerging epidemics.

Supportive Housing

Health Right 360 is providing access to recovery residence transitional housing and peer support for homeless individuals with OUD in San Francisco to facilitate continued engagement in SUD treatment and related recovery support services.

Transitions of Care

This project aims to strengthen the addiction treatment eco-systems in California counties and decrease gaps in coordination of patient transitions moving between higher and lower levels of care.

Tribal MAT Project

The Tribal MAT Program aims to improve MAT access for urban and tribal communities by increasing the total number of waivered prescribers certified and providing expanded MAT services that incorporate the values and culture of the communities being served.

Waivered Prescriber Support Initiative

The University of California, Los Angeles will survey waivered prescribers, which will guide the work of “physician champions" deployed to provide on-site support.

Young People in Recovery

Young People in Recovery will launch chapters and life-skills curriculum programs to youth in recovery from opioid use and substance use disorders.

If you would like to review successful outcomes of the MAT Expansion Project, please follow the link to the SOR Year 1 Report.

For questions regarding California's MAT Expansion Project, email DHCSMATExpansion@dhcs.ca.gov


Projects for Assistance in Transition for Homelessness (PATH)

The intent of the PATH formula grant is to support service delivery to individuals with a serious mental illness or co-occurring substance use disorder who are homeless or are at imminent risk of becoming homeless. The ultimate goal is to connect individuals to mainstream mental health and supportive services as a method of working towards the elimination of homelessness for this population. PATH funding is allocated to participating counties to provide street outreach, case management, and other services that are not supported by mainstream mental health programs.



California MAT Expansion Project

The California MAT Expansion Project aims to increase access to MAT, reduce unmet treatment need, and reduce opioid overdose related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment, and recovery activities.



Last modified date: 3/19/2021 2:11 PM