The Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act is a new state law meant to support those living with untreated schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorders by allowing a court to order individuals into behavioral health treatment in community- based settings. Stanislaus County is part of the first cohort of counties who is implementing the CARE Court program, starting October 1, 2023.
CARE Court is intended to serve a very specific population of adults with the goal of diverting individuals with schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorders from more restrictive settings (such as conservatorship or incarceration) into the community with the support of an individualized CARE Agreement or CARE Plan.
WHO IS ELIGBLE FOR CARE COURT?
To participate in CARE Court, the following criteria must be met:
- The individual must be 18 years or older
- The individual has a diagnosis in disorder class: Schizophrenia Spectrum or Other Psychotic Disorders
- The individual is currently experiencing behaviors and symptoms associated with severe mental illness (SMI)
- The individuals is not clinically stabilized in ongoing voluntary treatment
- At least one of the following:
- The individual is unlikely to survive safely without supervision and condition is substantially deteriorating
- The individual needs services and supports to prevent relapse or deterioration, leading to grave disability or harm to others
- Participation in a CARE Plan or Agreement is the least restrictive alternative
- The individual must be likely to benefit from participating in a CARE Plan or Agreement
WHO CAN SUBMIT A PETITION TO BEGIN CARE COURT PROCEEDINGS?
- First Responders (i.e. Peace Officers, Firefighters, Paramedics, Mobile Crisis Response, Homeless Outreach Workers)
- Family Members (i.e., Parents, Siblings, Grandparents, Children)
- Public Guardian, or designee
- Hospital Director, or designee
- Licensed Behavioral Health Provider, or designee, if services have been provided within 30 days prior to submitting the petition
- Person living with the respondent
- Respondent (i.e., self-petition)
- Director of Adult Protective Services, or designee
- Director of California Indian Health Services Program, or designee
- Judge of a tribal court
Our Behavioral Health and Recovery Services team is ready to connect you or your loved one with services today. Please contact our 24/7 Access, Crisis, and Support Line at 1-888-376-6246 for information related to all BHRS programs, services, and resources.
Additional details on the petition process, including CARE Court forms, are available on the Stanislaus County Superior Court Website.