Physical and emotional well-being are essential for a child to succeed in school. Yet, many children come to school suffering from conditions that seriously affect their attendance, achievement, connectedness to school, and dropout rates. Left untreated, these conditions can have a devastating and long-term impact. California’s school-based health centers are located in schools serving some of the state’s most vulnerable children. This chapter of “student Supports: Getting the Most out of Your LCFF Investment,” details how school districts can establish or expand their own school-based health centers to support progress on the LCFF priorities.
Unmet mental health needs rank among the most pressing concerns for California educators, directly affecting student attendance, behavior, and readiness to learn. Schools have an important role to play in addressing mental health needs of school-aged youth. But schools can’t do it alone – by partnering with counties and community-based agencies and clinics, schools can create comprehensive mental health programs that serve all students.
Through the 2011 Realignment, California permanently shifted responsibility for administration and financing of most services for vulnerable children and youth to counties — including mental health services provided via EPSDT (Early and Periodic, Diagnosis, Screening and Treatment — Medi-Cal for enrollees under 21 years of age). EPSDT Realignment provides increased funding, as well as significantly greater decision-making power and flexibility for counties in their use of these funds. This paper (in draft) gives an overview of EPSDT and Realignment so that school district leaders have the basic information they need to reach out to county leadership to partner around building more comprehensive mental health service systems — systems in which schools play their critical role in increasing both access and effectiveness. The authors are looking for feedback.
This toolkit – written in partnership with the California School-Based Health Alliance and Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California – explores the ways in which seven California counties are working collaboratively to provide school-linked mental health services, share financial resources to pay for these services, and address local issues such as truancy or recidivism by increasing access to mental health services for students.
A series of guidebooks to build a foundation of information that can assist schools and school districts in developing safe learning environments.
A factsheet on the disparities between children’s mental health needs and school-based services.
The California Community Schools Network is an initiative of the Partnership for Children & Youth and its partners.
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