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Med Care. 2017 Mar;55(3):299-305. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000641.

Reducing Mental Health Emergency Services for Children Served Through California's Full Service Partnerships.

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*School of Social Welfare †School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA.



Children's Full Service Partnerships (FSP), created through California's Mental Health Services Act of 2004 are comprehensive treatment and support programs incorporating a wraparound model designed to serve undertreated families with children who have a serious emotional disturbance and are at risk for suicide, violence, residential instability, criminal justice involvement, or involuntary hospitalization.


This study investigated whether FSP programs resulted in reduced crisis-related mental health emergency services (MHES) for the children they served.


Using a statewide data set for 464,880 children and youth ages 11to <18 served by California's county mental health systems between 2004 and 2012, the study compared age-related trajectories of MHES use for FSP-served children before and after treatment alongside children in usual care. Estimates were made within stratified age groups (11 to <15 and 15 to <18), utilizing propensity score adjusted random effects for each child's increasing age to control individual differences in MHES likelihood and trajectory, while controlling for age, cohort, county of service, and clinical and demographic covariates.


Before treatment in FSP, FSP-served children showed higher and increasing MHES rates initially, reflecting greater severity. After FSP treatment, FSP-served children's MHES trajectory declined more rapidly than those of controls.


There is strong evidence for the success of FSP's aggressive approach in reducing dangerous, increasing trajectories in MHES use. More research is needed, but key efficacious components within the program may be candidates for broader application when providing community-based, crisis-averting care for the most socially and economically vulnerable, seriously mentally ill children and youth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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