Why We Need to Act Now
The California Children’s Trust was established to transform the administration, delivery and financing of our child-serving systems to ensure that they are equity-driven and accountable for improved child health outcomes. We seek to promote and facilitate an emerging statewide consensus on the need for change, and an unprecedented commitment to collective action to create integrated and accountable child-serving systems that will transform outcomes for children, youth, and families.
- Californians agree on the need for early, proactive, and clinically effective supports for children’s developmental and behavioral health.
- There are promising trauma-informed practices that address health equity and can support the transformation of child-serving systems.
- We can improve administration and financing to leverage the $2.5 billion of unspent county and state mental health funds as a powerful driver of change.
- The next three years present a unique set of opportunities to transform public systems: an incoming administration, a robust state economy, and the renegotiation of California’s Medicaid plan.
Promoting and facilitating a statewide consensus around the transformation of children’s mental health requires thoughtful policy discussion. Our goal is to present data, analysis and perspectives in clear, concise terms so everyone can engage in and advance the conversation.
Key points: This brief describes the history of California’s mental health policies and financing that have impacted children over the last several decades, and presents a new evolution and possibilities for child well-being.
Actions you can take: Join the Coalition
Our Theory of Change
To demonstrate statewide commitment to providing California’s children and their families with a better system of care, we invite you to affirm our Key Principles:
- Early intervention is critical to healthy development. California faces a crisis regarding the social, emotional, and developmental health of our children. We must invest in early and proactive interventions to protect and promote the well-being of our children.
- California needs to widen access to behavioral health supports. Children and families need access to a range of behavioral health approaches and strategies that nurture social, emotional and developmental health.
- Racism and poverty contribute to health inequities across California. Improving children’s and families experiences and addressing health inequities, structural racism, and multi-generational poverty perpetuated in current systems are central to improving child well-being in California.
- Collaborative and accountable systems change is the way forward. We need an integrated and coordinated statewide redesign of our child-serving systems that holds itself accountable to children and families.
- The time for change is now. We have a unique opportunity–right now– to change California’s policies, financing and fragmented service delivery systems to improve children’s behavioral health and well-being.