While the dispute with the state lasted nearly a decade, an agreement was finally reached in 2011. The transaction contract was an important step in that it required the state to develop three types of community psychiatric services (Katie A. Services) that were not yet available to youth engaged in child welfare services. In addition, California has agreed that young caregivers and children at risk of out-of-use accommodation – who have a right to Medi-Cal and who require home or community intensive care – are entitled to Katie A.`s services under the law. As a result, tens of thousands of young people have been eligible for services to reduce the institutionalization and criminalization of abused and neglected young people. Judge A. Howard Matz is expected to tentatively approve the agreement, which has been in active hearing for more than 18 months, at a hearing on September 27. Katie A v. Bonta is a class action lawsuit against the state and los Angeles County, filed on July 18, 2002.
The complaint called into question the long-standing practice of restricting abused and neglected children who did not meet mental health needs in hospitals and large group homes, rather than providing services that would allow them to stay at home and in their communities. The case was based on allegations of violations of Medicaid and the Americans with Disabilities Act. This was the failure of the state and county to provide intensive care and home and community mental health services, which are effective in keeping most children safe at home or in a home environment. It was in 2003 that Mr. NCYL joined the case as co-counsel. To Katie A. v. Bonta, to ensure that thousands of young caregivers in California improve access to mental health care.
The August 26 regulation provides a framework for substantial improvements in the child mental health care process, including better coordination between child care services and providers, a range of personalized services focused on the care of children in their homes, and a new cost-sharing by the federal government. LA County opened negotiations and moved in March 2003. The colony called on the county to undertake broad reforms, including the provision of family-based services to children with psychological, emotional and behavioural problems, with a view to family reunification and the reduction of multiple and arbitrary placements. The colony also planned for the immediate closure of the infamous MacLaren Children`s Centre and the redistribution of its funding to local and community programs. If you would like to learn more about Katie A., please check out our other blogs on the subject here: www.ymadvocacy.org/tag/katie-a/. The California Department of Health Services also has a Katie A. website that you can see here: www.dhcs.ca.gov/Pages/KatieAImplementation.aspx. Significant success resulting from Katie A.`s complaint and the related work of youth lawyers: NCYL is co-counsel in the case with the Southern California ACLU; The Western Center on Law – Poverty; Protection and Advocacy, Inc. the David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law; and the National Health Law Program. In California, about 60,000 children are helping and are even more likely to be cared for by the child welfare system in their own homes. The court order extends to children in both groups who have unmet mental health needs.
Going forward, YMA is committed to ensuring that Katie A. continues to provide services to all youth who need them. Improving access to less restrictive mental health care will help young people succeed in school, build lasting relationships and lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Please join us while continuing to work for the full implementation of Katie A. for all eligible young people in California! In another major victory in early 2016, the state said the counties had been tasked with making Katie A. available.