WHEREAS, San Francisco's out-of-home placement rates for children and youth who are seriously emotionally disturbed far exceeds the statewide average; and,
WHEREAS, San Francisco's various public child serving agencies, including the Department of Public Health, Department of Human Services, Juvenile Probation and San Francisco Unified School District, often define the needs of clients and their families differently; and,
WHEREAS, providing mental health services in isolation from other partners, could result in rises in group home and State hospital placements, juvenile justice interactions, and increased health and educational costs; and,
WHEREAS, children and youth with serious emotional disturbances usually have problems in many areas, such as home, school and community, requiring their needs be met by human service agencies that operate in collaborative environments rather than in isolation; and,
WHEREAS, families or caregivers of these children and youth are often not included as full participants in the planning and decision making of their child's care; and,
WHEREAS, assuring quality outcomes requires the integration of various child-serving agencies and systems to collaboratively provide special education, child welfare, health, and juvenile justice services, as well as engaging the families or caregivers as full participants; and,
WHEREAS, the City and County of San Francisco, through the Department of Public Health, Community Mental Health, collaboratively with other human services agencies, applied for a Children's System of Care allocation from the State Mental Health Department to develop a comprehensive, coordinated system of care that is child-centered, family-focused, community-based, and culturally-competent, to address the high rates and costs associated with out-of-home placement decisions; and,
WHEREAS, in order to ensure the inclusion of families as full participants in the Children's System of Care efforts, the Family Involvement Team comprised of Peer Parents were hired to impact policy decisions as it pertains to providing qualitative, competent, family-focused delivery of services; and,
WHEREAS, service delivery programs competent in family-focused care principles more effectively engage, retain and support family members as they move toward their goals for health and stability; and,
WHEREAS, service delivery programs competent in family-focused care principles must also be culturally competent; and,
WHEREAS, the Family Focused Care Committee developed the "Message from Parents and Families to Service Providers" as a work in progress, to provide the human service agencies serving children, youth, and families a set of family-focused care principles to ensure and promote family involvement in their service delivery systems; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the San Francisco Health Commission supports the principles outlined in the "Message from Parents and Families to Service Providers"; and, therefore, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Public Health further integrate these principles into its Cultural Competency Policies and Guidelines, and utilize these principles when developing and evaluating criteria for programs serving parents, caregivers, children, youth and their families, within the confines of State and Federal privacy laws.
I hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was adopted by the San Francisco Health Commission at its meeting of Tuesday, July 6, 1999.
Sandy Ouye Mori, Executive Secretary to the Health Commission