Transforming Promises Into Practice Report2018-09-10T20:42:12-07:00

New Report

Policy Agenda for Improving the Lives of Young People with Mental Health Needs in California

In recognition of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, Young Minds Advocacy is excited to announce the publication of our new report, “California’s Children and Youths’ System of Care: An Agenda to Transform Promises into Practice,” authored by YMA’s president, Patrick Gardner.

The report highlights why children’s mental health is important and why California needs a distinct children and youth-focused mental health policy. Next, the report provides a brief overview of California’s publicly funded mental health system for children and youth; what it has accomplished; and the challenges that remain, including limited access to community-based services, a lack of coordinated care, inadequate data on quality of services, and insufficient system accountability. The report then sets forth a series of recommendations that stakeholders may pursue to overcome the existing challenges and ensure that all young people in California receive the mental health care they need and deserve to live happy successful lives.

The report calls for:

  1. Fulfilling existing promises to provide appropriate care to covered youth;
  2. Simplifying the system so that families and youth have one individualized plan that guides a team of cross-system helpers and resources using the wraparound model;
  3. Closing the quality and performance gap by systematically gathering, disseminating, and using timely, accurate, relevant, and actionable data at every level of the system;
  4. Greater accountability through sustainable community engagement and coalition-building;
  5. Transparent, responsive state and county leadership with clearly articulated responsibilities and goals; and
  6. Setting a timeline for providing all of California’s children and youth full and equal access to mental health care.
Download Report

Join us in advocating for a fair, effective, and accountable children’s mental health policy for California.

Here are some ways to take action with Young Minds Advocacy:

  • Share the report with your friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Order copies to share at your organization’s next event by emailing
  • Let us know what you think. If you or your organization are working on these issues, or want to get involved in the campaign to transform promises into practice, contact us!
  • Join our email list to stay connected.

To contact the author, please email

The report was made possible, in part, through a grant from the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

We need your help to change attitudes about mental illness & improve the lives of youth.

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