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Adm Policy Ment Health. 2017 Mar;44(2):233-242. doi: 10.1007/s10488-016-0717-6.

Embracing Comprehensive Mental Health and Social Services Programs to Serve Children Under California's Mental Health Services Act.

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Department of Social Welfare, School of Social Welfare, University of California, 120 Haviland Hall, #7400, Berkeley, CA, 94720-7400, USA.
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, USA.


Authorized under California's Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) of 2004, full service partnership (FSP) programs address social welfare and other human service needs of seriously mentally ill adults and children who are especially socially and economically vulnerable or who are untreated or insufficiently treated. Because FSP enrollment should reflect greater individual and community distress, we investigated whether counties' enrollment of children into FSPs came from mental health system caseloads with higher crisis use, assessed trauma and substance abuse problems; and from counties which had more foster care placement, more child poverty, lower median household incomes and more unemployment. We addressed these questions in 36 counties over 34 quarters after MHSA's onset. Results indicated greater FSP enrollment for children was associated with higher county unemployment and foster care placement rates and with mental health systems which had increasing children's crisis rates over the study period. These findings suggest that underservice and community adversity prompt officials to adopt and make greater use of children's FSP programming, in keeping with MHSA's intensions.


Children’s mental health; Enrollment; Implementation; Mental health services; Poverty; Social services

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