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Legislation to improve tracking of mental health services for California's foster kids moves forward []

SACRAMENTO -- Legislation that would require better transparency and tracking of mental health services for foster kids in every California county unanimously passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Thursday. (August 11, 2016)

Senate Bill 1291, by Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, would institute more stringent annual oversight of county Medi-Cal mental health plans' services to foster youth.

Services may include screenings, assessments, psychiatric hospitalizations, crisis interventions, case management, and psychotropic drugs, among other treatments. But Beall and others believe the data will reveal an over-reliance by counties on psychotropic medications rather than therapy or other services to treat foster youth.

The new data, he said, would hopefully address the dilemma and lead to safe and effective treatments.

"SB 1291 will give counties their first comprehensive look at what services they are and are not providing,'' said Anna Johnson, a policy analyst with the National Center for Youth Law, which sponsored the bill.

To read Tracy Seipel's article, please click here.


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