Are They Being Served (Yet)?: Nearly Ten Years After the Voters' Approval of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), to What Extent Are Counties Using MHSA Funds to Serve the Needs of Transition Age Foster Youth?
University of San Diego. Children’s Advocacy Institute.
1 v. (various pagings)
Published: December 2013
In 2010, the Children's Advocacy Institute (CAI) released a report analyzing each of California's 58 county plans created pursuant to the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) from its passage in 2004 through mid-2009. In this report, CAI revisits ten of California's counties to examine the developments and progress that have taken place over the past four years. It examines the extent to which the counties are serving transition-aged foster youth (TAFY), whether any of the counties have designed a program specifically to serve TAFY, and whether the counties are meaningfully considering the mental health needs of TAFY in the course of their MHSA planning processes. The counties that CAI reviewed are Alameda, Humboldt, Kern, Los Angeles, Merced, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Joaquin. Findings indicate: none of the counties CAI reviewed had designed an MHSA-funded program exclusively for TAFY; the counties had varying degrees of involvement from TAFY in the MHSA planning activities; none of the counties track TAFY utilization of all available MHSA-funded programs in the county; the counties engaged in varying degrees of collaboration and consultation with the county child welfare departments in planning and implementing MHSA-funded programs; none of the counties had any longitudinal outcome data related to TAFY who had participated in any of their MHSA-funded programs; and statewide implementation of the MHSA has been marred with questionable practices. Specific findings for each county are discussed and recommendations for improvement are made. 149 references.
mental health services; mental health programs; foster adolescents; independent living skills; service delivery; county social service agencies; California