Health System: Mental Health Youth Services (6130P)

Program Outcome Statement

Improve mental health for children, youth, and their families

Program Services

  • Outreach
  • Assessment
  • Counseling
  • Treatment
  • Case Management
  • Medication
  • Assistance Managing Care


Behavioral Health & Recovery Services (BHRS) for Children/Youth/Families provides outreach, assessment, counseling, treatment, case management, medication, and assistance with managing care to seriously emotionally disturbed children, youth, and their families. BHRS provides services to 4,500 youth. Many children come to BHRS through the child welfare system due to abuse or neglect. Others come to BHRS through Juvenile Probation, as their mental illness or substance abuse has contributed to their involvement with the criminal justice system. BHRS also provides emergency and inpatient care for approximately 300 children and youth in crisis and operates the Canyon Oaks Youth Center, a 12-bed residential treatment facility.
In partnership with schools, Child Welfare, and Probation, services are provided to maintain severely emotionally disturbed youth in their homes and schools and promote their safety and well-being. BHRS, Child Welfare, and Probation have substantially reduced the out-of-home placement rate over the last five years and successfully maintained high-risk youth in community settings, a less disruptive, more cost-effective solution than placement. BHRS implemented Full Service Partnerships in 2005 to serve high-risk youth with a broad array of services in their homes and community settings. These services have helped prevent youth from being placed out-of-home, and when out-of home placements have been necessary, these services have made it possible to return youth home sooner.
A change in state law in 2010 provided local school districts the option to significantly change the provision of mental health services for students in Special Education by selecting new providers. BHRS continues to provide mental health services for most of the districts’ children in Special Education. Additional collaborative efforts planned by the countywide Children and Youth System of Care (CYSOC) Committee and the School Safety Summit Task Force are focused on removing barriers to mental health services so that schools are safe and all emotionally disturbed children and youth receive access to the treatment they need to thrive.

Average Monthly Census of Youth in Out-of-County Group Home Placement Meeting Target

Percent of Youth Who Attend a Follow-Up Visit with a Clinical Provider within 7 Days of Being Discharged from a Psychiatric Hospital is Below Target

Percent of Emotionally Disturbed Young Adults Receiving Full Service Partnership Services who Experience a Reduction in Days Hospitalized Below Target

FY 2017-18 Mid-Year Story Behind Performance

Average Monthly Census of Youth in Out-of-County Group Home Placement

The average monthly census of youth in out-of-county group home placements continues to meet the target. These results are attributed to the Child/Youth System of Care. Fewer out-of-county placements improves the chances that youth will be reunited with their families.

Percent of Youth Who Attend a Follow-Up Visit With a Clinical Provider Within 7 days

Every youth is seen prior to discharge from the hospital. The standard for follow-up with a clinical provider within seven days, which is still the federal standard, no longer reflects BHRS practice. Youth are better served when they are engaged during hospitalization without running the risk of delay (by waiting until after discharge) because safety plans, supports, and agreements can be put in place before leaving the hospital. The federal standard does not account for this enhanced service, and it will take a long time before changes in practice are reflected in the federal standard.

Percent of Emotionally Disturbed Young Adults Receiving Full Service Partnership Services who Experience a Reduction in Days Hospitalized

The Full Service Partnership Program (FSP) continues to produce positive outcomes for BHRS clients in the areas of hospitalization, housing, incarceration, and employment.

Future Priorities

  • Meet all financial and programmatic requirements pertaining to enhanced services for foster care youth.
  • Provide case management transition services to all children and youth served in psychiatric emergency services in both locations.
  • Strengthen relationships and enhance coordination with acute psychiatric hospitals to improve the discharge experience for the patient and their family while decreasing the time to first outpatient service
  • Continue to build positive relationships with school districts and campuses that result in space for field-based BHRS staff and strong partnerships that support students at school.

Author: Gina Wilson; CFO, Health System      Contact Email:      Last Updated: 02-08-2018