Napa & Sonoma Counties, California

Initial Funding:

September and November, 1994


The Sonoma County System of Care is part of a two-county grant that serves Napa and Sonoma Counties; each county operates a system of care.  Though the two systems have different structures, the counties aim to work together to share resources and increase efficiencies. Overall, the Sonoma County System of Care has made great progress toward its goals of serving children and families, and reducing out of-community placements. The system of care is committed to a smooth implementation and service delivery, integrating principles, and growing from a service program within the mental health agency to a system-wide way of doing business.


The children in the target population are those Sonoma County residents with a diagnosis of serious emotional disorders, who are being served by multiple agencies, and who are at risk for out-of-home placement.  The children must be special education students in need of mental health treatment as defined by State legislative mandate AB3632 and/or have a DSM-IV diagnosis that impairs life functioning.  The core child-serving agencies agree on the definition of the target population. The system of care had served over 550 children and families during FY96, referred from all of the major child-serving agencies. Children served during the past year were usually involved in multiple agencies and had complex needs. Sonoma County Youth and Family System of Care serves the entire county, which is primarily rural with three medium-sized urban centers. With a population of 430,000, the ethnic mix of the county is 72 percent Caucasian, 18 percent Latino, 5 percent African American, and 4 percent Native American.  Overall, respondents felt confident in reaching the target population with the number of community-based services in place, especially by using geographical teams.  The system of care served more than 1,700 children and families during FY98.  




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