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Children’s Crisis Continuum Pilot Program


Assembly Bill (AB) 153 (Chapter 86, Statutes of 2021), signed into law in July 2021, mandated the creation of the Children’s Crisis Continuum Pilot Program to be jointly implemented by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).

The Children’s Crisis Continuum Pilot Program provides a framework for a highly integrated continuum of care for foster youth with high acuity needs to be modeled across California. The pilot program builds upon a theory of change that involves a provider having the ability to direct the entire continuum of service from the highest levels of care to a family-based home and having the capacity to provide services throughout the continuum.

The purpose of the Children’s Crisis Continuum is to fully integrate the system of care for foster youth enabling a seamless transition between service settings and to provide stabilization and treatment to foster youth with high acuity needs within the least restrictive setting possible.


  • To develop a trauma-focused system of care through which intensive care, qualified supervision and behavioral health services are provided in the home environment including on-site crisis response to respond to and de-escalate circumstances in which individual(s) are experiencing behavioral health symptoms/conditions causing distress, with the goal of preventing hospitalizations and unnecessary interactions with law enforcement; and,
  • To implement a network of services so that when a youth requires a higher or lower level of intervention, the movement within the levels of services and between levels of care is not disrupted or delayed by the need to arrange for provision of services and care or locate appropriate placements that include or can accommodate the provision of services and care.