In Los Angeles, Governor Newsom Convenes Inaugural CARE Court Roundtable

Governor hears from behavioral health experts and Californians who would benefit from new community-based CARE Court frameworkAdministration to host CARE Court roundtables around the state with health care and service providers, impacted Californians, local and judicial officials, and other stakeholdersNew CARE Court website launched to serve as one-stop resource for the public and stakeholders to learn more about the framework, provide input, and stay engaged

LOS ANGELES – Governor Gavin Newsom today visited a residential facility in Los Angeles, where he met with clients, health care and service providers, and local and judicial officials to discuss his CARE Court proposal. Unveiled by the Governor last week, CARE Court is a new policy framework for providing community-based mental health and substance use disorder treatment services to Californians with the most acute challenges, many of whom are experiencing homelessness.  Today’s roundtable is the first in a series of statewide convenings that the Administration will host, bringing together Californians who would benefit from the new framework, health care providers, first responders, outreach workers, representatives from the courts, local officials and other stakeholders. “With new tools and a focus on accountability, CARE Court will empower communities to help those in the greatest need get critical services to put them on a path to recovery and healing,” said Governor Newsom. “In the weeks ahead, we’ll be hearing firsthand from everyday Californians and their families, service providers, health care professionals, first responders, members of the judiciary, local officials and other stakeholders whose partnership is foundational to our community-based approach.”Governor Newsom convened today’s roundtable at Kress House in Los Angeles, a residential housing facility that provides comprehensive behavioral health services for justice-involved individuals.Click here for b-roll of the Governor’s visit to Kress House today, and additional footage from recent events.The Governor today also announced the launch of a new CARE Court website by the California Health and Human Services Agency, which will serve as a one-stop resource for the public and stakeholders to learn more about the framework, provide their input, and keep abreast of developments.

Governor Newsom and Dr. Ghaly meet with clients, health care and service providers, local officials and other stakeholders to discuss CARE Court proposal, including current Kress House resident Zackary Wright (pictured with the Governor in third photo.)

The Governor was joined today by Kress House residents, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, Medical Director for the Los Angeles County Office of Diversion Dr. Kristen Ochoa, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly J. Mitchell, Executive Director Herbert Hatanaka of Special Service for Groups, the non-profit operating Kress House, and other roundtable participants.CARE Court, which must be approved by the Legislature, would require counties to provide comprehensive treatment to the most severely impaired and untreated Californians and hold patients accountable to following their treatment plans. The framework will provide an opportunity for a range of people, including family members, first responders, intervention teams, and mental health service providers, among others, to refer individuals suffering from a list of specific ailments, many of them unhoused, and get them into community-based services.The CARE Court framework was created using the evidence that many people can stabilize, begin healing, and exit homelessness in less restrictive, community-based care settings. The plan focuses on people with schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, who may also have substance use challenges, and who lack medical decision-making capacity, and advances an upstream diversion from more restrictive conservatorships or incarceration. CARE Court would provide individuals with a clinically appropriate, community-based and court-ordered Care Plan consisting of culturally and linguistically competent county mental health and substance use disorder treatment services. These include short-term stabilization medications, wellness and recovery supports, and connection to social services, including a housing plan. In addition to a full clinical team, the client-centered approach includes a public defender and a supporter to help individuals make self-directed care decisions. Services would be provided to the individual through an outpatient model while they live in the community. In the event that a participant cannot successfully complete a Care Plan, the individual may be referred for a conservatorship, consistent with current law, with a presumption that no suitable alternatives to conservatorship are available. All counties across the state will participate in CARE Court under the proposal. If local governments do not meet their specified duties under court-ordered Care Plans, the court will have the ability to order sanctions and, in extreme cases, appoint an agent to ensure services are provided. CARE Court builds on Governor Newsom’s $14 billion multi-year investment to provide 55,000 new housing units and treatment slots and nearly $10 billion annually in community behavioral health services. The Governor’s approach focuses on quickly rehousing unsheltered individuals with behavioral health issues, all while new units come online, while also transforming Medi-Cal to provide more behavioral health services to people struggling the most.