The Center for Children and Family Services
The California Institute for Mental Health established its Child and Family Services Center as part of its commitment to supporting the state’s ongoing efforts to improve mental health services for the children of California, particularly those experiencing Serious Emotional Disturbance and their families. The Center develops and disseminates information, convenes key stakeholder groups to identify and address priorities, informs policy discussion, participates in research and provides training and technical assistance to support innovation in local mental health services. Child and Family Center priorities include:
- Improve public policies that impact services for children and youth, with mental health needs, who are served in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
- Promote the use of quality assurance processes, fidelity monitoring, evaluation and outcome reporting as a key strategy to improve services for children and their families.
- Reduce disparities in access to and quality of mental health services to diverse children and families.
- Develop and provide training and technical assistance to directly support local efforts to implement and sustain effective practices.
In the spring of 1997, California State Department of Mental Health dedicated funds to establish a technical assistance center to support the expansion and continuous improvement of Children's System of Care throughout the state. The center was named in honor of former Senator Cathie Wright, in recognition of her efforts to expand mental health services to children with serious emotional disabilities. The California State Department of Mental Health has partnered with the CIMH, a non-profit public interest corporation, to operate the center.
The Cathie Wright Technical Assistance Center
The Cathie Wright Technical Assistance Center for Children’s System of Care (Cathie Wright Center/CWTAC) provides training, consultation, and technical assistance to support county efforts to develop and maintain Children's System of Care. The center's efforts focus on offering technical assistance that enables counties to utilize core principles of the California Children's System of Care model including:
- Collaboration of child & family serving agencies
- Parents and families as full partners in the care of their children of operation of service systems
- Culturally competent services that meet the needs of diverse ethnic populations served
- Comprehensive community-based and individualized services
- Evaluation and outcome measures as a means of maintaining accountability and improving the quality of the system