​​​​​Prevention and Youth Branch

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The Prevention and Youth Branch (PYB) within the Community Services Division, provides planning, oversight, technical assistance and training of non-Medi-Cal primary prevention early intervention and youth behavioral health services. The PYB also administers several statewide programs with the primary goal of empowering individuals to lead healthy lives while preventing mental illness and substance use disorders (SUD).

General primary prevention inquiries may be submitted to DHCSPrimaryPvServices@dhcs.ca.gov

General youth behavioral health services inquires may be submitted to DHCSYouthServices@dhcs.ca.gov    

Behavioral Health Prevention Plan

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) launched an initiative to create the state’s first Behavioral Health Prevention Plan (BHPP). California’s BHPP will utilize concepts from the State Epidemiological Workgroup (SEW) and the California Evidence-Based Practices Workgroup (EBPW) to advance prevention in California. The BHPP will: 

  • Identify emerging trends in behavioral health prevention throughout California
  • Develop a core set of statewide prevention priorities, goals, and objectives that will provide guidance to statewide efforts on a continuous improvement path
  • Provide data that indicates effectiveness and uncovers opportunities to improve initiatives throughout the state
  • Recognize opportunities for collaboration and partnerships across systems
  • Support California's behavioral health prevention system by identifying and addressing specific needs with a comprehensive prevention plan
  • Promote the use of evidence-based, evidence-informed, and best practices statewide, including recommending culturally responsive best practices and practices that address local health disparities
  • Support implementation that advances prevention science, including addressing equity issues by incorporating prevention strategies directed at the social determinants of health, risk and protective factors (both individual and community level), and Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Relieve counties of their contractual requirement of producing a county Strategic Prevention Plan (SPP) and instead focus on building capacity for continuous quality improvement
  • Streamline process and evaluation data collection

For more information on the BHPP and associated resources, please visit the BHPP webpage.

Evidence-Based Practices Workgroup

The purpose of the 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. For more information, please visit the guidance document​ on Identifying and Selecting Evidence-Based Interventions.

State Epidemiological Workgroup

The SEW aims 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:

California Healthy Kids Survey

CHKS is a collaborative project between DHCS, WestEd, and the California Department of Education (CDE) to administer a survey of Alcohol and Other Drug use among a representative statewide sample of 7th, 9th, and 11th graders. WestEd has published the results of the survey in the School Climate and Student Engagement and Well-being Biennial Report. The Report includes data on the mental wellbeing and substance use trends among 7th, 9th, and 11th graders.

WestEd has also published the Infographic Report – Key Findings from the Eighteenth Biennial California Healthy Kids Survey 2019/2021​, a companion document to the most recent Biennial Report that presents key findings of the CHKS state representative samples. This dataset is used in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of primary prevention programs funded by the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG).​

California Friday Night Live Program​

The California Friday Night Live (FNL) Program aims to engage youth as active leaders and resources in their community and build partnerships for positive and healthy youth development. DHCS provides stipends to counties to support the widespread implementation of the FNL program. DHCS also contracts with the Tulare County Office of Education, California Friday Night Live Partnership (CFNLP) to provide no-cost Technical Assistance and Training (TTA) to providers ensuring program components are followed with fidelity.

The CFNLP has developed the following infographics for the Youth Development Survey, the Friday Night Live Mentoring (FNLM) program, and the CFNLP:

​For questions regarding FNL, please email DHCSFNL@dhcs.ca.gov​. To request technical assistance on the FNL program, please visit the FNL webpage.

Community Prevention Initiative 

The Community Prevention Initiative (CPI) provides Substance Use Disorder Prevention (SUD Pv) TTA and capacity building services at no cost to the requestor to support the SUD Pv workforce throughout California. The CPI is currently administered through contract with the Center for Applied Research Solutions.

CPI 2021-2022 ​Infographic

For more information and to request TTA visit: CA CPI​

Technical Assistance and Training 

DHCS provides no-cost TTA to organization, grantees, and professionals implementing primary prevention, SABG-funded perinatal, youth, and hospital-based behavioral health navigator programs. ​

SAMHSA Grant Program Support

Letters of Support

As the Single State Agency for Mental Health and SUD, DHCS is responsible for providing letters of support and providing guidance regarding an applicant's compliance with The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) discretionary grant requirements, which may be included in some Federal Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA). It is the responsibility of the applicant to read each FOA carefully and understand its unique requirements. For guidance on requesting a letter of support, complying with the Public Health System Impact Statement, and/or Executive Order 12372 requirements, please refer to DHCS's guidance for Discretionary Grant Requirements document or email questions to DHCS Letter of Support.

For more information, please visit the Funding Opportunities and Grant Resources website​.

Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Best Practices Guide

DHCS developed a companion guide based on research and feedback from various stakeholders to support California's publicly funded adolescent SUD treatment programs. Counties and their funded providers should utilize the Adolescent SUD Best Practices Guide of October 2020 to specialize treatment for adolescents with SUDs, and best serve the complex needs of this population.

Project Cal-Well

Project Cal-Well is a collaborative project between DHCS and CDE. 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's 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. Please visit the Project Cal-Well webpage for more information about selected sub-grantees for this project.

Primary Prevention Data Collection 

All SABG-funded counties and their providers must report data collected from their primary prevention activities. Counties and their providers report monthly cumulative time and demographics for each SABG-funded program.

For general questions regarding primary prevention data collection: counties, please email the DHCS analyst assigned to the county; providers, please contact the county prevention coordinator. ​

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

On November 8, 2016, Proposition 64 was passed by voters, allowing adults aged 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. After other specified disbursements, the current law allocates 60 percent of the remaining fund to the Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention, and Treatment Account (YEPEITA) to DHCS 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 DHCS community projects funded by the YEPEITA. For meeting information and members visit the Proposition 64 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 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​.

The current Elevate Youth 2021 Annual Report​, developed by the Sierra Health Foundation (SHF), can be viewed on SHF’s website​.​​​

Substance Use Disorder Perinatal Services

PYB provides leadership, technical assistance, and support to counties​ funded by the SABG Perinatal Set-Aside. 

Contact Perinatal Treatment Services

Women and Children's Residential Treatment Program

The Women and Children's Residential Treatment Program consists of a network of residential perinatal SUD treatment programs in Alameda, Los Angeles, Marin, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Joaquin Counties. 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.​​

Last modified date: 2/1/2023 4:33 PM