Mental Health

This page is maintained by the Judicial Council Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC) and includes tools, resources, and information for court staff and system partners to meet the mental health needs of youth and families involved in the court system. CFCC is dedicated to improving the quality of justice and services to meet the diverse needs of children, youth, and families using the California courts.


The goal of CFCCs Family and Juvenile Mental Health program work is to strengthen the judicial branch’s response addressing the mental health needs of youth and families who are involved, or at risk for involvement, with the court system. Program work is supported through Mental Health Services Act funds.

Additional information on the Family and Juvenile Mental Health Program
Goals can be found here.

Screenshot of Infographic 1New! Mental Health Youth Services (MHYS) Infographics

These infographics highlight demographics about California’s vulnerable youth and their mental health needs, the mental health services entitled to them, and gaps they face in accessing these services. This information can help judges and judicial system partners better see the environmental factors and social determinants affecting the long-term mental health of the youth and families that they serve. This, in turn, can inform decisions on which services youth and their families are referred to. Data displayed in these infographics is sourced from publicly available datasets from various local and state agencies and organizations. When available, an interactive data dashboard based on these infographics will be posted to this website. The dashboard will provide both state and county-level data.

To view all the infographics, click here. 

To view the text version of these infographics, click here.

To view the infographics individually, click here.

We would love to hear your feedback about how helpful these infographics are. Please fill out a short survey here.

Created and maintained by Safia Belayadi from the Judicial Council Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC). For more information, please email

Juvenile Mental Health Briefing Series

This briefing series examines ways for courts to engage with partners to access necessary mental health services and to help courts and system partners better bridge service gaps and challenges.

  • The Need for Mental Health Treatment for Children in the Juvenile Delinquency and Dependency Systems. Provides an overview of the need for treatment and challenges in obtaining appropriate mental health services.
  • Statewide MHYSD Companion: Who Are The Youth In California? (Coming Soon). This briefing serves as a companion to the Statewide MHYSD and provides in-depth discussion about data elements in the Dashboard’s first section describing California youth.
  • Statewide MHYSD Companion: How Do Youth Receive Medical Care in California? (Coming Soon).

Juvenile Mental Health Tools and Resources

While created for use by judges in the courtroom, these resources are also appropriate for court system and education partners to help better understand and address the behavioral health needs of youth and families involved in the courts.

  • Supporting the Behavioral Health of Youth and Families in Family Court. (Coming Soon)
  • New! Supporting the Behavioral Health of Youth and Families in Probate Guardianship Court
    This Judicial Bench Guide provides practical information and tools courts can use to help support the mental health of youth in Probate Guardianship proceedings and ensure these youth have access to services. The Bench Guide offers an understanding of how unmet mental health needs and prior trauma may impact the ways in which youth, parents, and caregivers engage in probate guardianship proceedings and highlights effective and compassionate ways of responding that are not punitive. 

  • Supporting the Mental Health of Youth in Juvenile Court provides judges with a set of bench cards and a companion resource guide that offers a wealth of information about mental health diagnosis, treatment, resources, and more.

  • Understanding Trauma and Supporting Educational Opportunity includes bench cards that describe how trauma can impact educational attainment, set forth how to highlight education at every hearing, and provide guidance on creating trauma-informed spaces for children and youth.

Juvenile and Family Mental Health Webinars

The following webinars are hosted by CFCC and include curated interdisciplinary content on a variety of topics related to juvenile and family mental health.

Effective Models and Approaches

Tips and Tools: How to Work with, Understand, Support Youth Dealing with Mental Health Issues (42:41)

This video explores techniques and culturally responsive approaches to engage with young people who may have behavioral health challenges (mental wellness or substance abuse.)

Tips and Tools on Juvenile Mental-Behavioral Health Panel Discussion (48:23)

Panelists from Part 1 of the presentation address strategies for courts and their partners to better work with young people, especially in light of the additional challenges posed by the pandemic.

Tips and Tools on Juvenile Mental-Behavioral Health Panel Discussion

New! How Courts Can Support the Mental Health of Youth and Families (52:16)

This webinar provides courts and justice partners with an understanding of the role that they can play in responding to mental health needs and advancing access to mental health care for court-involved youth and families.

jcc mental health

Judicial System Considerations for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (67:00)

This webinar provides information for courts and justice partners to consider when working with youth who have autism spectrum disorder.

Contemplating Race, Access to Justice, and Equity (55:02)

This webinar addresses how race and implicit bias can affect decisions and outcomes in the justice system. Participants will explore challenges and strategies illustrated through hypothetical situational exercises involving racial bias, perceptions of behaviors, and decision making.

contemplating race, access to justice, and equity
Mental Health Services: Key Programs, Access, and Funding

MHSA Funding Webinar (13:33)

Guide for courts to access Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding. Information is also available in MHSA Funding Information Sheet.


Understanding the Nuts and Bolts of Mental Health Care for Children and Families (58:21)

The first in a series of webinars held in conjunction with the National Center for Youth Law. Part 1 offers an overview of the mental health needs, services, and supports available to children and families in California. Includes information about key programs and funding sources.

understanding the nuts and bolts of mental health


California’s Evolving Mental Health Care Landscape – What Courts Need to Know (54:00)

The second in a series of webinars held in conjunction with the National Center for Youth Law. Part 2 provides an overview of ongoing efforts to reform and improve California's mental health care system, and how this may impact youth and families in California courts.

california's evolving approach to mental health

New! CalAIM and Juvenile Courts (1:00:35)

This webinar focuses on the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative, whose goal is to improve the quality of life and health outcomes of the Medi-Cal population by implementing broad delivery system, program, and payment reforms across the Medi-Cal program. This webinar’s panelists discuss how CalAIM will impact the juvenile justice community.

CalAIM and Juvenile Courts

New! Targeted Mental Health and Substance Abuse Prevention and Early Intervention Through Schools (43:15)

This webinar discusses why it’s important to implement services through school, what services are available in schools (with a focus on Medi-Cal), and how services are provided through schools, including how to identify local partners. Speakers Nancy Hsu of the National Health Law Program and Lisa Eisenberg of the California School-Based Health Alliance also discuss challenges that schools may face. View slides for this presentation with links. This is the first in a series of webinars related to service provision for system-involved youth.

CalAIM and Juvenile Courts


New! The Pandemic’s Impact on the Mental Health of Youth (1:02:15)

Mental health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults are real and widespread. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered their experiences at home, school, and in the community, and the effect on their mental health has been devastating. Join this presentation where we explore what the data is telling us and strategies to mitigate the impact of Covid including funding and resources available to courts and justice partners.


Pandemic’s Impact on the Mental Health of Youth

New! Getting Unstuck: Administering Outside the Lines: Getting Unstuck: Administering Outside the Lines (48:30)

As weeks turn into months and months turn into years, we find ourselves caught between what was, what is, and what will be. The need to live in the present and power through uncommon exhaustion is a daily occurrence. How do we acknowledge and assess where we are within our management role? If we struggle to perform or question our efficacy, how do we become unstuck in order to grow and enhance our family court services teams? This session will take a pragmatic approach to mental health accountability and autonomous decision-making within court culture and infrastructure.

Getting Unstuck: Administering Outside the Lines

New! Connecting Court-Involved Families to Their Benefits (34:34)

There are many changes and improvements happening in California’s Medi-Cal Program focused on improving access to mental health. Among these are an increased role for Medi-Cal managed care plans and a number of significant systems reforms. Join this presentation to better understand the architecture of the Medicaid system and the emerging role of California's managed care organizations. This webinar explores Medi-Cal’s scope of mental health benefits – what’s covered and who pays for it, plus how systems-involved youth and families can access Medi-Cal counseling and mental health services with no co-pay.

Connecting Court-Involved Families to Their Benefits

New! Psychotropic Medication and California’s Foster Youth (43:45)

California juvenile court judges have the unique responsibility of deciding whether to authorize doctors to prescribe psychotropic medications to children in foster care. Lacking medical background or training, some judicial officers have found it challenging to make a well-informed ruling on a prescribing or changing medication based on the medical information that is available. This webinar provides a review of the basics of psychotropic medications and their use with California foster youth and risks/benefits of psychotropic medications on foster children. The presentation includes a snapshot on the prescription and approval process of psychotropic medications for foster children and roles of prescribers, judges, social workers, children, and other in the approval process.

Psychotropic Medication and California’s Foster Youth

New! Ensuring Appropriate Service Provision for System-Involved Youth (56:21)

This webinar covers the behavioral health needs of system-involved youth, the availability of behavioral health services, how to ensure appropriate service provision, the impact of SB 221 on service provision, how to enforce the right to access behavioral health, and other resources.

Ensuring Appropriate Service Provision for System-Involved Youth

New! Identifying Needs and Gaps in Accessing Mental Health Care for System-Involved Youth (49:52)

Examines the increased mental health challenges for system-involved youth and highlights models of care and funding sources to meet needs and gaps in youth mental health care. The presentation focuses on serving youth in the child welfare system, foster care, justice involved, special education, and homeless/marginally housed populations.

Identifying Needs and Gaps in Accessing  Mental Health Care for System-Involved Youth

New! School-Based Mental Health: A Clinical Perspective (48:31)

Discussion on how to leverage school-based mental health services and the strength and challenges in the approach. The presentation explores the delivery of behavioral health services on the school site, common models, staffing of school-based behavioral health, information sharing, and frequently heard terms.

School-Based Mental Health: A Clinical Perspective

New! Primer on School-Based Mental Health Services, Support, and Care (45:49)

This presentation by the California Children’s Trust focuses on the fundamental changes in the role of school-based support of mental and emotional health of youth. Topics include funding for school-based mental health services, California’s K-12 education system, school-linked mental health supports, and key takeaways.

Primer on School-Based Mental Health Services, Support, and Care:

New! Identifying Needs and Gaps in Mental Health Access for System-Involved Youth (38:58)

In this webinar, Alexis Robles-Fradet and Kim Lewis define system-involved youth and discuss their mental health needs, gaps in care and access to care, and challenges and opportunities to addressing mental health needs in this population. They conclude with resources to closing the gap in access to mental health care.

Identifying Needs and Gaps in Mental health

New! CalAIM: A Game Changer for Reentry/Justice Involved Adults and Youth (42:48)

In this webinar, presenters discuss CalAIM’s key elements and how those elements impact the juvenile justice system. The presenters also note capacity-building opportunities for the justice system and its partners.

A Game Changer for Reentry/Justice Involved Adults and Youth

Coming Soon

  • Serving Youth with High Acuity of Mental Health Needs
  • Trauma and Culture-Informed Practices and Care
  • Reducing Bias, Disparities, and Inequities in our Courts

Special Projects for At-Risk Populations

Family and Juvenile Mental Health Program staff are involved in initiatives to improve access and services to our youth and families.

Foster Care Model of Care Workgroup was established to create a long-term plan for how children and youth in foster care receive health care services (physical health, mental health, substance use disorder treatment, social services, and oral health). The workgroup also will determine whether or not a new system of care should be developed.

Additional Mental Health Related Resources

For further mental health work please see the following JCC web pages:

Adult Behavioral Health Education and Resources

Collaborative Justice Courts

Special Education Rights Self Help Page