Welcome to the California Department of Social Services

Right Column

Pathways to Well-Being

Katie A v Bonta

Katie A v. Bonta refers to a class action lawsuit filed in federal district court in 2002 concerning the availability of intensive mental health services to children in California who are either in foster care or at imminent risk of coming into care. A settlement agreement was reached in the case in December 2011, and child welfare and mental health leaders from state and local levels are working together to establish a sustainable framework for the provision of an array of services that occur in community settings and in a coordinated manner. As part of this agreement, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) agreed to take specific actions that will strengthen California’s child welfare and mental health systems with objectives that include:

  • Facilitating the provision of an array of services delivered in a coordinated, comprehensive, community-based fashion that combines service access, planning, delivery, and transition into a coherent and all-inclusive approach, which is referred to as the Core Practice Model (CPM).
  • Addressing the need of some class members with more intensive needs (referred to as “subclass members”) to receive medically necessary mental health services in their own home or family setting in order to facilitate reunification and meet their needs for safety, permanence, and well-being. These more intensive services are referred to as Intensive Care Coordination (ICC), Intensive Home Based Services (IHBS), and Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC).
  • Clarifying and providing guidance on state and federal laws as needed to implement the settlement agreement so that counties and providers can understand and consistently apply them.

Materials related to implementation of the settlement agreement are available below. If you have any comments or questions, please send them via e-mail to: KatieA@dss.ca.gov .

Shared Management

Pathways to Mental Health Community Team Announcement (March 25, 2015)
Letter announcing the formation of a Community Team to provide input and guidance regarding policies and practices related to implementation of the Core Practice Model, service delivery, accountability, data collection, and practices related to the coordination of care between child welfare and mental health.

Shared Management Announcement   (February 24, 2015)
The joint response of CDSS and DHCS to recommendations made by the Katie A Joint Management Task Force and Core Practice Model Fiscal Task Force.

Pathways to Mental Health Services – Core Practice Model Guide

The CPM guide is available by clicking on this link: Pathways to Mental Health Services - Core Practice Model Guide .

Released on March 1, 2013, the CPM Guide describes how the county child welfare and mental health systems and service providers can work together to address the mental health needs of children/youth and families in the child welfare system. The guide identifies specific required components that support the standards and expectations for practice behaviors by child welfare and mental health staff. It is intended to facilitate a common strategic and practical framework that integrates the planning, delivery, coordination, and management of services among all those involved in working with children involved in multiple service systems.

If you have any questions about the Core Practice Model Guide, please direct them to KatieA@dhcs.ca.gov .

Medi-Cal Manual for Intensive Care Coordination, Intensive Home Based Services and Therapeutic Foster Care for Katie A. Subclass Members

The Medi-Cal Manual is available by clicking on this link: Medi-Cal Manual for ICC, IHBS, and TFC for Katie A Subclass Members

Released on March 1, 2013, this Medi-Cal manual provides county mental health plans (MHPs) and other Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services providers with information concerning the provision of these intensive services to children and youth who are members of the Katie A. Subclass and their families. The definition of subclass members is articulated in the settlement agreement and is included in the manual. These children and youth have significant needs, and by receiving ICC and IHBS in their own home, family setting, or the most homelike setting, they will be most likely to improve their safety, permanence, and well-being. This manual is a companion document to the CPM Guide, described above.

If you have any questions about the Medi-Cal Manual, please direct them to KatieA@dhcs.ca.gov .

Technical Assistance 

Katie A: Frequently Asked Questions - August 13, 2013 (DHCS web site)
if you have a question, please send it to KatieA@dss.ca.gov , or KatieA@dhcs.ca.gov

Implementation of the CPM Guide and Medi-Cal Manual described above is occurring statewide. The state conducted regional orientations for counties and continues to provide support and assistance to local child welfare and mental health agencies. On May 29, 2013 CDSS issued an All County Information Notice giving counties an opportunity to participate in a learning collaborative as an implementation strategy. The learning collaborative counties will help to identify successful approaches that can be shared and used statewide. The letter and the list of participating counties may be accessed here:

Technical Assistance Calls

To meet ongoing needs for support, CDSS and DHCS facilitate a conference call twice each month to share information and answer questions about the CPM Guide, the Medi-Cal Manual, and other issues related implementation of the settlement agreement. The calls are open to counties, service providers, families, and other stakeholders. Specific details for the call are as follows:

When: Second and Fourth Wednesday of each month, 10am – 11am
Telephone# 877/921-9924
Pass Code# 1446116


This page will be updated as further information becomes available. The California Department of Social Services welcomes any questions you have regarding the implementation of the settlement agreement.
Please direct questions to: KatieA@dss.ca.gov .

Implementation

Implementation of the settlement agreement is described in the following documents:

County Implementation Progress Reports

Child Welfare – Mental Health Data

Implementation Resources

State Materials

In March 2013, county child welfare and mental health agencies were asked to work together to complete a Readiness Assessment tool that would show how family-centered values and principles are reflected in existing systems, and a Service Delivery Plan that included specific methodologies for delivering Intensive Care Coordination and Intensive Home-Based Services. Following its review of the materials, CDSS and DHCS prepared an analysis to inform and support ongoing implementation efforts. The State’s analysis is available below.

Court Documents

CDSS Letters and Notices

  • ACL 14-79  (October 16, 2014)
    Continuation of Intensive Care Coordination (ICC), Intensive Home Based Services (IHBS), and Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) Within a Core Practice Model (CPM) Approach Post Court Jurisdiction
  • ACL 14-29  (March 28, 2014)
    Reporting Service Delivery Activities Related to Providing Mental Health Services to Children in Foster Care for the Period of September 1, 2013 through February 28, 2014, Due on May 1, 2014 (Revised Progress Report Template)
  • Progress Report May 2014 Enclosures 1 and 2 - Fillable
  • ACL 13-73  (September 9, 2013)
    Providing Services To The Katie A. Subclass; Semi-Annual Progress Reports For Katie A. Implementation For The Time Period Of May 15, 2013-August 31, 2013: Due On October 18, 2013
  • ACIN I-26-13  (May 29, 2013)
    Katie A: Implementation Of The Core Practice Model Through A Learning Collaborative Model
  • ACL 13-20  (March 26, 2013)
    Release Of The Core Practice Model (CPM) Guide And Description Of The Intensive Care Coordination And Intensive Home-Based Services

Mental Health Information Notices (DHCS web site)

  • 13-13 : Family and Youth Involvement and Engagement Strategies - Katie A. Implementation
  • 13-11 : Implementation of Claiming for Intensive Care Coordination and Intensive Home-Based Services in the Short-Doyle/Medi-Cal Claims Processing System for Dates of Service Beginning January 1, 2013
  • 13-10 : Introduction of Medi-Cal Manual for Intensive Care Coordination (ICC), Intensive Home-Based Services (IHBS) & Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) for Katie A. Subclass Members
  • 13-03 : Readiness Assessment Tool and Service Delivery Plan - Katie A. Implementation