Stanislaus County to strengthen mental health services for foster youths

To comply with a landmark court settlement, Stanislaus County will bolster mental health and support services for foster children who struggle with emotional problems.

A federal class-action lawsuit in 2002 charged that Los Angeles County had failed to provide mental health treatment for foster youths or children at risk of foster care placement. Group homes and a notorious county center were filled with mentally ill and abused children, resulting in frequent lawsuits and demands for reform.

A statewide court settlement, almost 10 years later, recognized these children were entitled to more effective therapeutic services from counties and the state. Counties are now expected to provide an array of services, such as individual care management, mobile crisis care and mental health aides at home.

The program will organize “child and family teams” for youths reuniting with family or being placed in long-term foster care.

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