To Help Children Get Mental Health Care, Researchers Call for Overhaul of Medi-Cal

California Health Report  •  Oct 11, 2019

Reporter Claudia Boyd-Barrett discusses the First 5 Center's release of the paper, "Whole-Family Wellness for Early Childhood: A New Model for Medi-Cal Delivery and Financing," interviewing the Center's managing director, Sarah Crow, in this California Health Report story.

Should health plans do more to support parents in raising stable families?

That’s the recommendation from a coalition of child health researchers who are calling for an overhaul of part of the state’s Medi-Cal program. Medi-Cal is California’s low-income health program that covers 40 percent of children in the state.

The recommendations are included in a report, from the First 5 Center for Children’s Policy and a group of child health experts that calls for Medi-Cal to better address the needs of entire families and emphasize preventive care.

Young children’s mental wellbeing cannot be separated from the family and community context in which they’re living, the researchers argue. If California policymakers want children to be healthy, they need to make sure parents are healthy too, the report states.

The goal of the report, said Sarah Crow, managing director of the First 5 Center for Children’s Policy, is to help policymakers who are “re-envisioning how Medi-Cal can better serve children and their families.”

Read the rest of this piece on the California Health Report site.