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Mental Health Transition Plan

Transition from Mental Health Services under Assembly Bill (AB) 3632 to Special Education and Related Services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Transition from Mental Health Services under AB 3632 to Special Education and Related Services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)


Mental health services (MHS) transition will be conducted by California Department of Education (CDE) staff including a Project Coordinator, a Facilitator, Education Program Consultants and an Office Technician. A Project Coordinator will be responsible for ensuring that all work on the project is completed in a high quality and timely fashion and will supervise project staff. One of the cornerstones of the transition is to ensure that there is ongoing accountability. This starts with a thorough assessment of how Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs) are providing services and reporting data to the CDE. The Project Coordinator will supervise specialized staff in the design, data collection and interpretation of field surveys and data audits. Next the CDE will convene working groups made up of content experts, local program administrators, parents, and other parties. The CDE will use a two day meeting process - one day for small group work and one day for a large group discussion where larger issues of implementation are discussed. Under the supervision of the Project Coordinator, groups will be scheduled, facilitated and summarized by a project facilitator. A variety of products will be researched, developed and disseminated through print, audiovisual and training activities. The Project Coordinator will ensure that the products are developed on time and disseminated widely. The Project Coordinator will work with staff and to provide statewide and regionalized training and technical assistance.

(Note: there are three existing mental health positions used to monitor mental health activities under Chapter 26.5 of the Government Code. These three positions will continue in their program monitoring functions and will be used to conduct field audits of data systems and to adapt existing monitoring systems to accommodate the newly restored responsibilities to mental health service provision.)

Baseline Practices and California Special Education Management Information Software (CASEMIS) Audit

  1. Baseline Practices and Implementation Targets. The CDE will conduct a survey to establish baseline practices between County Mental Health (CMH), SELPAs, and Local Educational Agencies (LEAs). The survey is meant to establish the kinds of working relationships in place between CMH and LEAs as of July 1, 2011. This will include determining who is providing services to students at the baseline (district or CMH), what services are being provided, what changes in service delivery are already known for the 2011–12 year and what questions need to be answered immediately. Also the CDE will seek to establish the type of service delivery configuration (primarily contracted with CMH, primarily contracted with other private providers, primarily district-provided services, and/or blended model, etc.) the SELPA/LEA hopes to achieve by the beginning of the 2012–13 program year.

  2. CASEMIS Audit. A special review of CASEMIS data entries will be conducted to evaluate the consistency and appropriateness of data entries and also to compare year to year entries. Any issues identified (significant year to year increases or drops) will result in a special review and validation of data provided. In serious cases, onsite audits will be conducted by the CDE.

The Baseline Practices Survey and Implementation Target survey will form the basis for much of the working group processes, especially the service delivery models. The CASEMIS audits will establish the consistency and reliability of current reporting practices and identify needs for modification of service data collection for ongoing accountability.

Working Group Process and Products

Working Groups. Specifically, the Special Education Division (SED) will coordinate three working groups: Legislative Requirements/Funding, Procedures, and Service Delivery Models. Each of these workgroups will be oriented toward the resolution of practical issues and the provision of clear direction to local service providers.

Legislative Requirements/Funding Working Group. This working group will address the application of federal and state law to the clear delineation of the scope of mental health services for students with disabilities:

  • Legislative and/or regulatory requirements for providing MHS to students with disabilities
  • Clarification of the funding streams and the allocations available to LEAs
  • Clarification regarding access to funds or services from agencies outside of education (e.g., Medi-Cal, billing options, rates)
  • Fiscal reporting requirements (e.g., School Account Code Structure)

Procedures Working Group. This working group will address procedural changes required by the shift from CMH under AB 3632 to LEAs under the IDEA:

  • Referral and assessment requirements
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting participants and service delivery processes
  • Data collection and accountability (including alteration of electronic IEP systems)
  • Hiring and contracting for qualified personnel
  • Using Medi-Cal (Medi-Cal billing options, securing Medi-Cal Services through CMH, etc.)

Service Delivery Models Working Group. This working group will examine information collected through the Baseline Practices and Implementation Targets surveys, above, to isolate existing and desired service delivery models. The working group will identify the key characteristics of the approaches, implementation issues and strategies, and districts who have achieved success in implementing the particular approach.

Workgroup Products and Delivery Schedule. The purpose of the working groups is to articulate the necessary information and to facilitate the preparation of guidance documents by the CDE. The following recommendations/products are only an initial list. They will then be developed into white papers, PowerPoints, guidance letters, and/or webinar materials that will be prepared, presented as appropriate, and posted on the CDE web site. The final due date for all products and follow-up development and presentation is March 31, 2012.

Due Date Initial Recommendations/Product
09/15/11 Baseline Practices and Implementation Target Survey
09/15/11 IDEA Requirements for Providing Services for Students with Disabilities
09/15/11 Funding Streams and Allocations
10/15/11 Fiscal Reporting Requirements
10/15/11 Monitoring, Data Collection and Accountability
11/01/11 Compilation of Service Delivery Models in California
11/01/11 IEP Planning for Students Who Need MHS
11/01/11 Identification and Assessment of Students to Determine MHS Needs
11/15/11 Interagency Collaboration in the Provision of Services
12/01/11 Provision of Services Options for Students Who Need MHS
12/01/11 Hiring and Contracting for Qualified Personnel
02/15/12 Access to Medi-Cal Funds and Services

Stakeholder Input. Periodically throughout the process, the CDE will sponsor stakeholder input processes to secure input about issues and concerns and, after product development, to release drafts for comment and revision. This will enable the CDE to obtain broadbased input and advice about the content and effectiveness of the products that are developed.

Questions:   Special Education Division | | 916-445-4613
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 30, 2023
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