L.A. County Aims To Boost Mental Health Care for Foster Children
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a five-year $62 million plan to increase the availability of mental health services for children in foster care, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The move brings supervisors a step closer to settling a five-year-old class-action lawsuit that accused the county of relying on group homes instead of screenings to treat children with serious emotional, psychiatric and behavioral problems.
The county did not admit wrongdoing in the suit but said that mental health services should be available to foster childrenÂ without placing them in groupÂ facilities.
The plan gives social workers until March 2009 to begin performing basic mental health screenings for the 156,000 cases that are investigated in the field each year.
By next year, the Children and Family Services department hopes to conduct comprehensive assessments and create treatment plans for at least 65% of the 11,000 children detained annually.The union that represents county social workers has resisted the move to perform screenings (Therolf, Los Angeles Times, 10/15). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.