Sign on to this letter to ensure kids in foster care and their caregivers have access to vital mental health services.
Kids in foster care have experienced significant trauma from abuse and neglect and, as a result, often need mental health services. Yet too often, kids in foster care and their caregivers are left to navigate triggering events and conflicts on their own, even though immediate professional support is critical in times of crisis.
Tell our state’s leaders to support a common sense solution – a toll-free hotline, available 24/7, so caregivers and kids in foster care, who are experiencing emotional, behavioral or other difficulties, can get immediate help, as well as ensuring that mobile response teams are available to provide face-to-face, in-home response to help in the most difficult situations.
Read our letter below and at this link:
Dear Governor Brown, Legislative Leadership, and Budget Conferees:
We are writing in support of the Family Urgent Response System, a $15 million budget proposal in 2018-19 and $30 million ongoing, to support foster youth and their caregivers. The purpose of this Response System is to provide foster youth and their caregivers with the immediate support they need during times of emotional crisis, and link youth and families to needed supports and services to help stabilize the situation. This Response System supports the goals of the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) to provide timely, in-home supports and services to help families thrive.
Children and youth in the foster care system have often experienced trauma that manifests in behaviors that can become overwhelming to their caregivers. Caregivers may feel their only options are to contact law enforcement, which can result in the criminalization of foster youth. Caregivers may feel forced to give up their foster youth, which in turn leaves the youth feeling even more abandoned and traumatized. CCR envisions that all foster youth and caregivers receive immediate and timely supports and services regardless of the placement setting, to support long-term permanency and improved outcomes.
The Family Urgent Response System would provide current and former foster youth and their caregivers with immediate supports, by: (1) establishing a statewide, toll-free hotline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for caregivers and youth who are experiencing emotional, behavior or other difficulties and need immediate help. The hotline will be staffed with operators trained in conflict resolution and de-escalation who will provide immediate assistance to help defuse the crisis and determine whether mobile, in-home support is needed; and (2) requires counties to establish mobile response teams to provide face-to-face, in-home response on a 24/7 basis to help stabilize the living situation, assess the caregiver’s and child’s needs and develop a plan of action. Counties will provide the family with ongoing services through the existing local network of care.
The Family Urgent Response System for foster youth and caregivers will help address traumatic experiences for foster youth, reduce law enforcement calls and needless criminalization of youth, and prevent placement disruption. By stabilizing placements, this will promote healing and bonding for foster youth and their caregivers and support the permanency goals as envisioned by CCR.
For these reasons, we support the Family Urgent Response System.
cc:Members and Staff of the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Health and Human Services
Members and Staff of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No.1 on Health and Human Services