State law encourages or requires districts to implement identification and referral processes to link students and families with needed resources.
California Education Code 8804. Award of grants to local educational agency or consortium
The superintendent shall award grants to a local educational agency or consortium to pay the costs of planning and operating, on behalf of one or more qualifying schools within the local educational agency or consortium, programs that provide support services to pupils and their families at or near the school, as follows: (g) For purposes of this chapter, support services shall include case–managed health, mental health, social, and academic support services benefiting children and their families, and may include, but are not limited to:
- (2) Mental health services, including primary prevention, crisis intervention, assessments, and referrals, and training for teachers in the detection of mental health problems.
California Health and Safety Code 124174.6 Public School Health Center Support Program
The department shall establish a grant program within the Public School Health Center Support Program to provide technical assistance, and funding for the expansion, renovation, and retrofitting of existing school health centers, and the development of new school health centers, in accordance with the following procedures and requirements: (a) A school health center receiving grant funds pursuant to this section shall meet or have a plan to meet the following requirements:
- (1) Strive to provide a comprehensive set of services including medical, oral health, mental health, health education, and related services in response to community needs.
- (2) Provide primary and other health care services, provided or supervised by a licensed professional, which may include all of the following:
- (A) Physical examinations, immunizations, and other preventive medical services.
- (B) Diagnosis and treatment of minor injuries and acute medical conditions.
- (C) Management of chronic medical conditions.
- (D) Basic laboratory tests.
- (E) Referrals to and followup for specialty care.
- (F) Reproductive health services.
- (G) Nutrition services.
- (H) Mental health services provided or supervised by an appropriately licensed mental health professional may include: assessments, crisis intervention, counseling, treatment, and referral to a continuum of services including emergency psychiatric care, community support programs, inpatient care, and outpatient programs. School health centers providing mental health services as specified in this section shall consult with the local county mental health department for collaboration in planning and service delivery.
- (I) Oral health services that may include preventive services, basic restorative services, and referral to specialty services.
- (3) Work in partnership with the school nurse, if one is employed by the school or school district, to provide individual and family health education; school or districtwide health promotion; first aid and administration of medications; facilitation of student enrollment in health insurance programs; screening of students to identify the need for physical, mental health, and oral health services; referral and linkage to services not offered onsite; public health and disease surveillance; and emergency response procedures. A school health center may receive grant funding pursuant to this section if the school or school district does not employ a school nurse. However, it is not the intent of the Legislature that a school health center serve as a substitute for a school nurse employed by a local school or school district.
- (4) Have a written contract or memorandum of understanding between the school district and the health care provider or any other community providers that ensures coordination of services, ensures confidentiality and privacy of health information consistent with applicable federal and state laws, and integration of services into the school environment.
- (5) Serve all registered students in the school regardless of ability to pay.
- (6) Be open during all normal school hours, or on a more limited basis if resources are not available, or on a more expansive basis if dictated by community needs and resources are available.
- (7) Establish protocols for referring students to outside services when the school health center is closed.
- (8) Facilitate transportation between the school and the health center if the health center is not located on school or school district property. (b) Planning grants shall be available in amounts between twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) and fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for a 6- to 12-month period to be used for the costs associated with assessing the need for a school health center in a particular community or area, and developing the partnerships necessary for the operation of a school health center in that community or area. Applicants for planning grants shall be required to have a letter of interest from a school or district if the applicant is not a local education agency. Grantees provided funding pursuant to this subdivision shall be required to do all of the following:
- (1) Seek input from students, parents, school nurses, school staff and administration, local health providers, and if applicable, special population groups, on community health needs, barriers to health care and the need for a school health center.
- (2) Collect data on the school and community to estimate the percentage of students that lack health insurance and the percentage that are eligible for Medi-Cal benefits, or other public programs providing free or low-cost health services.
- (3) Assess capacity and interest among health care providers in the community to provide services in a school health center.
- (4) Assess the need for specific cultural or linguistic services or both. (c) Facilities and startup grants shall be available in amounts between twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) and two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) per year for a three-year period for the purpose of establishing a school health center, with the potential addition of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) in the first year for facilities construction, purchase, or renovation. Grant funds may be used to cover a portion or all of the costs associated with designing, retrofitting, renovating, constructing, or buying a facility, for medical equipment and supplies for a school health center, or for personnel costs at a school health center. Preference will be given to proposals that include a plan for cost sharing among schools, health providers, and community organizations for facilities construction and renovation costs. Applicants for facilities and startup grants offered pursuant to this subdivision shall be required to meet the following criteria:
- (1) Have completed a community assessment determining the need for a school health center.
- (2) Have a contract or memorandum of understanding between the school district and the health care provider, if other than the district, and any other provider agencies describing the relationship between the district and the school health center.
- (3) Have a mechanism, described in writing, to coordinate services to individual students among school and school health center staff while maintaining confidentiality and privacy of health information consistent with applicable state and federal laws.
- (4) Have a written description of how the school health center will participate in the following:
- (A) School and districtwide health promotion, coordinated school health, health education in the classroom or on campus, program/activities that address nutrition, fitness, or other important public health issues, or promotion of policies that create a healthy school environment.
- (B) Outreach and enrollment of students in health insurance programs.
- (C) Public health prevention, surveillance, and emergency response for the school population.
- (5) Have the ability to provide the linguistic or cultural services needed by the community. If the school health center is not yet able to provide these services due to resource limitations, the school health center shall engage in an ongoing assessment of its capacity to provide these services.
- (6) Have a plan for maximizing available third-party reimbursement revenue streams. (d) Sustainability grants shall be available in amounts between twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) and one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($125,000) per year for a three-year period for the purpose of operating a school health center, or enhancing programming at a fully operational school health center, including oral health or mental health services. Applicants for sustainability grants offered pursuant to this subdivision shall be required to meet all of the criteria described in subdivision (c), in addition to both of the following criteria:
- (1) The applicant shall be eligible to become or already be an approved Medi-Cal provider.
- (2) The applicant shall have ability and procedures in place for billing public insurance programs and managed care providers.
- (3) The applicant shall seek reimbursement and have procedures in place for billing public and private insurance that covers students at the school health center. (e) The department shall award technical assistance grants through a competitive bidding process to qualified contractors to support grantees receiving grants under subdivisions (b), (c), and (d). A qualified contractor means a vendor with demonstrated capacity in all aspects of planning, facilities development, startup, and operation of a school health center. (f) The department shall also develop a request for proposal (RFP) process for collecting information on applicants, and determining which proposals shall receive grant funding. The department shall give preference for grant funding to the following schools:
- (1) Schools in areas designated as federally medically underserved areas or in areas with medically underserved populations.
- (2) Schools with a high percentage of low-income and uninsured children and youth.
- (3) Schools with large numbers of limited English proficient (LEP) students.
- (4) Schools in areas with a shortage of health professionals.
- (5) Low-performing schools with Academic Performance Index (API) rankings in the deciles of three and below of the state. (g) Moneys shall be allocated to the department annually for evaluation to be conducted by an outside evaluator that is selected through a competitive bidding process. The evaluation shall document the number of grantees that establish and sustain school health centers, and describe the challenges and lessons learned in creating successful school health centers. The evaluator shall use data collected pursuant to Section 124174.3, if it is available, and work in collaboration with the Public School Health Center Support Program. The department shall post the evaluation on its Internet Web site. (h) This section shall be implemented only to the extent that funds are appropriated to the department in the annual Budget Act or other statute for implementation of this article.
California Welfare and Institutions Code 4345. Development of guidelines
The Director of Mental Health shall develop guidelines for primary intervention programs in accordance with the following: (a) School-based programs shall serve children in grades kindergarten through three. (b) The programs may serve children beyond grade three who could benefit from the program but the number of children accepted into the program from grades four and above shall not represent more than 15 percent of the total number of children served. (c) The programs may serve children enrolled in a publicly funded preschool program. (d) The programs shall serve children referred by either a screening process, a teacher, school-based mental health professionals, other school personnel who have had opportunities to observe children in interpersonal contacts, or parents. If a screening process is utilized, behavior rating scales shall constitute the primary instrument from which referrals to primary intervention programs are made. To a more limited extent, observations of children working on structured tasks and standardized projective tests may also be used. (e) The programs may include a parent involvement component. (f) Before acceptance of a child into a primary intervention program, parental consent is required.
California Welfare and Institutions Code 4346. Core team; Responsibilities
(a) Each primary intervention program shall have a core team consisting of school-based mental health professionals, including credentialed school psychologists, school counselors, school social workers, or local mental health program professionals, or a combination thereof, and child aides. (b) The school-based mental health professionals shall be responsible for accepting referred children into the program, supervision of the child aides, assignment of a child to an aide, evaluation of progress, and determination of termination from the program. The mental health professionals shall supervise the scoring and interpretation of screening and assessment test data, conduct conferences with parents, and evaluate the effectiveness of individual aides. (c) Child aides, under supervision of the school-based mental health professional, shall conduct weekly play sessions with children served in the primary intervention programs. Child aides may be salaried school aides, unpaid volunteers or other persons with time and interest in working with young children, and who may be provided stipends to meet expenses. (d) All aides shall undergo a time-limited period of training that is focused on the main intervention strategies of the particular program and is provided prior to direct contacts with the children served in the primary intervention programs. Training shall, at a minimum, include basic child development, crisis intervention, techniques of nondirective play, other intervention skills appropriate to identified problem areas, and instruction in utilizing supervision and consultation.
California Welfare and Institutions Code 4380 School-Based Early Mental Health Intervention and Prevention Services Matching Grant Program
Subject to the availability of funding each year, the Legislature authorizes the director, in consultation with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to award matching grants to local educational agencies to pay the state share of the costs of providing programs that provide school-based early mental health intervention and prevention services to eligible pupils at schoolsites of eligible pupils, as follows: (a) The director shall award matching grants pursuant to this chapter to local educational agencies throughout the state. (b) Matching grants awarded under this part shall be awarded for a period of not more than three years and no single schoolsite shall be awarded more than one grant, except for a schoolsite that received a grant prior to July 1, 1992. (c) The director shall pay to each local educational agency having an application approved pursuant to requirements in this part the state share of the cost of the activities described in the application. (d) Commencing July 1, 1993, the state share of matching grants shall be a maximum of 50 percent in each of the three years. (e) Commencing July 1, 1993, the local share of matching grants shall be at least 50 percent, from a combination of school district and cooperating entity funds. (f) The local share of the matching grant may be in cash or payment in-kind. (g) Priority shall be given to those applicants that demonstrate the following:
- (1) The local educational agency will serve the greatest number of eligible pupils from low-income families.
- (2) The local educational agency will provide a strong parental involvement component.
- (3) The local educational agency will provide supportive services with one or more cooperating entities.
- (4) The local educational agency will provide services at a low cost per child served in the project.
- (5) The local educational agency will provide programs and services that are based on adoption or modification, or both, of existing programs that have been shown to be effective. No more than 20 percent of the grants awarded by the director may be utilized for new models.
- (6) The local educational agency will provide services to children who are in out-of-home placement or who are at risk of being in out-of-home placement. (h) Eligible supportive services may include the following:
- (1) Individual and group intervention and prevention services.
- (2) Parent involvement through conferences or training, or both.
- (3) Teacher and staff conferences and training related to meeting project goals.
- (4) Referral to outside resources when eligible pupils require additional services.
- (5) Use of paraprofessional staff, who are trained and supervised by credentialed school psychologists, school counselors, or school social workers, to meet with pupils on a short-term weekly basis, in a one-on-one setting as in the primary intervention program established pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 4343) of Part 3. A minimum of 80 percent of the grants awarded by the director shall include the basic components of the primary intervention program.
California Welfare and Institutions Code 5886. Mental Health Student Services Act
(a) The Mental Health Student Services Act is hereby established as a mental health partnership competitive grant program for the purpose of establishing mental health partnerships between a county’s mental health or behavioral health departments and school districts, charter schools, and the county office of education within the county. (b) The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission shall award grants to county mental health or behavioral health departments to fund partnerships between educational and county mental health entities.
- (1) County, city, or multicounty mental health or behavioral health departments, or a consortium of those entities, including multicounty partnerships, may, in partnership with one or more school districts and at least one of the following educational entities located within the county, apply for a grant to fund activities of the partnership:
- (A) The county office of education.
- (B) A charter school.
- (2) An educational entity may be designated as the lead agency at the request of the county, city, or multicounty department, or consortium, and authorized to submit the application. The county, city, or multicounty department, or consortium, shall be the grantee and receive any grant funds awarded pursuant to this section even if an educational entity is designated as the lead agency and submits the application pursuant to this paragraph. (c) The commission shall establish criteria for the grant program, including the allocation of grant funds pursuant to this section, and shall require that applicants comply with, at a minimum, all of the following requirements:
- (1) That all school districts, charter schools, and the county office of education have been invited to participate in the partnership, to the extent possible.
- (2) That applicants include with their application a plan developed and approved in collaboration with participating educational entity partners and that include a letter of intent, a memorandum of understanding, or other evidence of support or approval by the governing boards of all partners.
- (3) That plans address all of the following goals:
- (A) Preventing mental illnesses from becoming severe and disabling.
- (B) Improving timely access to services for underserved populations.
- (C) Providing outreach to families, employers, primary care health care providers, and others to recognize the early signs of potentially severe and disabling mental illnesses.
- (D) Reducing the stigma associated with the diagnosis of a mental illness or seeking mental health services.
- (E) Reducing discrimination against people with mental illness.
- (F) Preventing negative outcomes in the targeted population, including, but not limited to:
- (i) Suicide and attempted suicide.
- (ii) Incarceration.
- (iii) School failure or dropout.
- (iv) Unemployment.
- (v) Prolonged suffering.
- (vi) Homelessness.
- (vii) Removal of children from their homes.
- (viii) Involuntary mental health detentions.
- (4) That the plan includes a description of the following:
- (A) The need for mental health services for children and youth, including campus-based mental health services, as well as potential gaps in local service connections.
- (B) The proposed use of funds, which shall include, at a minimum, that funds will be used to provide personnel or peer support.
- (C) How the funds will be used to facilitate linkage and access to ongoing and sustained services, including, but not limited to, objectives and anticipated outcomes.
- (D) The partnership’s ability to do all of the following:
- (i) Obtain federal Medicaid or other reimbursement, including Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment funds, when applicable, or to leverage other funds, when feasible.
- (ii) Collect information on the health insurance carrier for each child or youth, with the permission of the child or youth’s parent, to allow the partnership to seek reimbursement for mental health services provided to children and youth, where applicable.
- (iii) Engage a health care service plan or a health insurer in the mental health partnership, when applicable, and to the extent mutually agreed to by the partnership and the plan or insurer.
- (iv) Administer an effective service program and the degree to which mental health providers and educational entities will support and collaborate to accomplish the goals of the effort.
- (v) Connect children and youth to a source of ongoing mental health services, including, but not limited to, through Medi-Cal, specialty mental health plans, county mental health programs, or private health coverage.
- (vi) Continue to provide services and activities under this program after grant funding has been expended. (d) Grants awarded pursuant to this section shall be used to provide support services that include, at a minimum, all of the following: (1) Services provided on school campuses, to the extent practicable. (2) Suicide prevention services. (3) Drop-out prevention services. (4) Outreach to high-risk youth and young adults, including, but not limited to, foster youth, youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, and youth who have been expelled or suspended from school. *(5) Placement assistance and development of a service plan that can be sustained over time for students in need of ongoing services. (e) Funding may also be used to provide other prevention, early intervention, and direct services, including, but not limited to, hiring qualified mental health personnel, professional development for school staff on trauma-informed and evidence-based mental health practices, and other strategies that respond to the mental health needs of children and youth, as determined by the commission. (f) The commission shall determine the amount of grants and shall take into consideration the level of need and the number of schoolage youth in participating educational entities when determining grant amounts. (g) The commission may establish incentives to provide matching funds by awarding additional grant funds to partnerships that do so. (h) Partnerships currently receiving grants from the Investment in Mental Health Wellness Act of 2013 (Part 3.8 (commencing with Section 5848.5)) are eligible to receive a grant under this section for the expansion of services funded by that grant or for the inclusion of additional educational entity partners within the mental health partnership. (i) Grants awarded pursuant to this section may be used to supplement, but not supplant, existing financial and resource commitments of the county, city, or multi-county mental health or behavioral health departments, or a consortium of those entities, or educational entities that receive a grant. (j)
- (1) The commission shall develop metrics and a system to measure and publicly report on the performance outcomes of services provided using the grants.
- (A) The commission shall provide a status report to the fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature on the progress of implementation of this section no later than March 1, 2022. The report shall address, at a minimum, all of the following:
- (i) Successful strategies.
- (ii) Identified needs for additional services.
- (iii) Lessons learned.
- (iv) Numbers of, and demographic information for, the schoolage children and youth served.
- (v) Available data on outcomes, including, but not limited to, linkages to ongoing services and success in meeting the goals identified in paragraph (3) of subdivision (c).
- (B) A report to be submitted pursuant to this paragraph shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code. (k) This section does not require the use of funds included in the minimum funding obligation under Section 8 of Article XVI of the California Constitution for the partnerships established by this section. (l) The commission may enter into exclusive or nonexclusive contracts, or amend existing contracts, on a bid or negotiated basis in order to implement this section. Contracts entered into or amended pursuant to this subdivision are exempt from Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 14825) of Part 5.5 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, Section 19130 of the Government Code, and Part 2 (commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code, and shall be exempt from the review or approval of any division of the Department of General Services. (m) This section shall be implemented only to the extent moneys are appropriated in the annual Budget Act or another statute for purposes of this section.
- (A) The commission shall provide a status report to the fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature on the progress of implementation of this section no later than March 1, 2022. The report shall address, at a minimum, all of the following: