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Somewhere to Turn: Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Adoptive and Guardianship Families

September 20, 2018

The Adoption Competent Mental Health Guides were recently released in California to help build mental health capacity and competency for post-adoption youth. The guides were created as part of AB 1790, which addressed barriers to the availability of adoption/permanency mental health professionals and created recommendations to remove those barriers.

Why does it matter? Adoptive parents speak loud and strong: “working with clinicians who do not understand out special issues can do more harm than good. We have nowhere to turn.”  We owe it to those parents to build a cadre of mental health providers with the needed specialized training and experience.

Somewhere to Turn – Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Adoptive and Guardianship Families is a companion piece to augment ACIN 1-26-16.  It is published as four separate guides for the following groups:

  • County Behavioral Health Agencies
  • Community Mental Health, Managed Care, and Fee-for-Service Providers (including CACFS members)
  • County Child Welfare Agencies
  • Private Nonprofit Child Welfare Agencies

These four guides offer tools and tips to assist agencies and mental health professionals implement recommendations made by the AB 1790 Stakeholder Group on how to remove barriers to the provision of mental health services by adoption-competent professionals. The recommendations are grounded in the guidance found in California’s Integrated Core Practice Model.

Each guide includes recommendations, a self-assessment tool and tip sheets for providers, parents and youth.

Public Child Welfare Agencies


Prepared by Families NOW with funding from Sierra Health Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, California Department of Social Services, Stensrud Foundation, Roseann Mattern, Doupnik Family and California Association of Adoption Agencies.

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