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Advocacy and Legislative Updates



california academy of child & adolescent psychiatry


This is an exciting time in California for children’s mental health initiatives. Governor Newsom’s 2019-2020 budget proposal has allocated $1.8 billion for an array of programs designed to boost the state’s early education and child-care programs.  Governor Newsom’s administration has also proposed $45 million for screenings to identify adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among children and adults on Medi-Cal. CALACAP hopes to leverage this focus by supporting legislation that promotes school-based mental health and prevention programs, as well as, early mental health screenings.

In an effort to spread the word on the importance of early childhood mental health and choosing legislation that best supports this cause, we have compiled a series of white papers that we hope you will find useful in learning more about the subject and helping to spread the word to others. Only by joining forces can we have the strongest voice in Sacramento to evoke positive change for the sake of our children.



CLICK HERE for PDF copies of our white paper series.

Please feel free to circulate the white papers to anyone who is interested in learning more about children's mental health and the legislative needs to help it thrive.

2020 childrens report card


This year’s Report Card grades California on 31 key children’s issues – and includes new sections on Family Supports, Adolescents & Transition Age Youth and Connected Cradle-to-Career. It also shines a spotlight on the impact racism, poverty and immigration threats have on our kids. 
Despite recent progress, this year’s grades show the urgent need to create large-scale improvements to ensure every child has the quality supports and services they need to reach their full potential. As a state, California is a leader in so many areas, like protecting vulnerable communities from harmful federal policies, ensuring equal rights for all Californians and staying firm on environmental standards, but on too many issues affecting kids we rank near the bottom of the country. 

There are a few bright spots, like children’s health insurance (A) and paid family leave (B-), showing that California can make large-scale improvements for children and families when our state’s leaders put kids first and focus on a particular goal, and we commend these efforts. But, in most areas, from mental health (D) and child care (D+) to caring professionals in schools (F), we must do much better. 

Each section within the Report Card contains policy recommendations that together constitute a Pro-Kid whole-child agenda. Now is the time for California to be a leader on kids’ issues and ensure that every child in our state has access to the full range of quality supports that they need to grow up healthy, learn and succeed.

Please take a look, and share the Report Card with your colleagues and community. 



Senator Portantino Recognized for Adolescent Health Efforts Presented with Children’s Hero Award

Marina Del Rey, California – State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) was recently honored by the California Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CALACAP) as the 2019 Children’s Hero Award recipient.  CALACAP recognized the Senator at its recent conference in Marina Del Rey for his dedication to youth mental health.  Senator Portantino has long made mental health issues a key component of his legislative agenda.  In particular, this year Senator Portantino held two mental health first aide workshops in his district. View full press release HERE

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To see a matrix of bills supported, opposed or being watched by CALACAP click HERE

Last updated January 20, 2020

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