Child Welfare/Mental Health Learning Collaborative Making Progress

NOTE: The final Statewide Leadership Team convening is scheduled for August 6, 2015, in Davis

CalSWEC is coordinating training across California to integrate county child welfare and mental health systems for the provision of mental health services to children in foster care in its role as co-sponsor of the Statewide Training and Education Committee (STEC).  

The new alliance of child welfare and mental health systems is contingent upon the statewide implementation of a sustainable Core Practice Model (CPM), part of the Katie A. v. Bonta settlement agreement and propelled by the Child Welfare/Mental Health Learning Collaborative. Begun in October 2013, the Learning Collaborative will span approximately 18 months. It is composed of 18 California counties grouped into four regional cohorts: North, Central, Bay, and Southern. 

CalSWEC has also initiated the online Child Welfare/Mental Health Learning Collaborative (Katie A.) Toolkit to facilitate the sharing of resources and communication among all the players.

Core Practice Model 
Curriculum topics that address the foundational areas of the CPM include:

  • cross-system collaboration,
  • trauma-informed practice, and
  • child and family teaming.

Content areas reflecting several of the model’s main components include:

  • family engagement,
  • assessment and screening, and
  • service planning.

Learning Collaborative Structure
Under the auspices of the California Department of Social Services and the Department of Health Care Services, the Learning Collaborative is engaged in the following:

  • Bringing together representatives from the fields of mental health and child welfare; stakeholders from among parent, youth, community, and Tribal partners; and subject matter experts;
  • Involving a Statewide Leadership Team comprised of county leadership from mental health and child welfare departments, and other stakeholders, and local implementation teams at the county level; and 
  • Convening a total of three in-person statewide training events; webinars; and at least three regional learning sessions in each of the four regions. 

Training and technical assistance for the Learning Collaborative is provided in conjunction with several of CalSWEC’s training partners, including:

Toolkit Facilitates Sharing, Communication
The Child Welfare/Mental Health Learning Collaborative (Katie A.) Toolkit was initiated:

  • To facilitate the sharing of resources and communications among the counties, regions, and state-level agencies, and between the Statewide Leadership Team and local county implementation teams. 
  • To be a resource and communication hub that makes implementation and training for the CPM more accessible and efficient for all California counties. 
  • To enable  regions and counties (a) to share planning strategies, policies, curricula, and other training tools, (b) to publicize training events, and (c) to arrange for technical assistance.

For more information

Phyllis Jeroslow, Training and Curriculum Specialist,