State Issues Policy Guidance: Ensuring Mental Health Services for Out-of-County Youth 

California’s Health and Human Services Agency issued joint communication from the Department of Social Services and the Department of Health Care Services to counties and providers regarding presumptive transfer for foster children placed outside of their county of origin, which serves as policy guidance until regulations are adopted.

Assembly Bill 1299 (Ridley-Thomas), was enacted in 2016 establishing a prompt transfer of the responsibility for the provision of, or arranging and payment for Specialty Mental Health Services from the county of original jurisdiction to the county in which the foster child resides, consistent with Early and Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) requirements.

The All County Letter (ACL) and Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services (MHSUDS) Information Notice (IN) discuss the role of the Child and Family Team; the requirements for presumptive transfer, including assessment and waiver conditions; how and when to inform the necessary individuals about presumptive transfer; conditions and exceptions to the conditions of presumptive transfer; and the procedural steps. For more information, download the ACL and IN.