AB 1299 (Ridley-Thomas) would address the now 20-year-old problem that too many out-of-county foster children and youth experience: the delay or denial of needed mental health services when a youth is placed in a new county.
Providing equal access to mental health services to foster youth is both essential to their wellbeing and mandated by state and federal law. Delivering mental health care to foster youth who are transferred between counties, however, has proved to be challenging. Because each county manages its own network of service providers, children who are moved across county lines find themselves “out of network,” and all too often, out of luck as well.
Foster youth placed out-of-county face significant barriers to accessing needed mental health services. Children within this vulnerable population are more than six times less likely to receive intensive home and community-based services than foster youth served in-county placements.
AB 1299 will remedy this issue, but we need your help today! The bill is scheduled to be heard by the California State Senate Appropriations Committee tomorrow (August 27) and we need stakeholders to show their support for AB 1299!
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Call your Senator on the Appropriations Committee if you are a constituent AND call the Committee Chair and tell them and their staff why AB 1299 is a necessary bill. Follow the link to view a suggested script to help draft your message along with contact information for the Senate Appropriations Committee members.