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What Does Juvenile Mental Health Court Services Do?
Juvenile Mental Court Services is responsible for several tasks including:

General Mental Health Consultation and Liaison to Dependency and Delinquency Courts

Upon request by Juvenile Court personnel, JCMHS staff performs the following functions:
  • Assessment by JCMHS to clarify a child’s mental health needs, whether they are benefiting from existing services and if not, what new services should be provided.
  • Assisting the Court to determine when mental health evaluations would be useful in a given case and what types of evaluations to order.
  • Assisting the Court in understanding and interpreting the results of evaluations.
  • Facilitating obtaining information and services from the mental health system.
  • Providing information about mental health placement and treatment resources.
  • Facilitating multi-agency collaboration to meet mental health treatment goals.
  • Organizing case conferences to achieve collaboration in difficult or unusual cases.
  • Providing liaison between the Juvenile Court and the Mental Health Court (Dept. 95).
  • These functions may be provided by any of the clinical staff.
  • JCMHS clinicians are assigned to act as liaisons to groups of dependency courtrooms and serve as the primary consultants to the personnel of those Court departments. These clinicians make regular visits to their assigned courtrooms to actively engage with Court personnel to promote awareness of mental health treatment needs and early intervention for the minors whose cases are being heard.
Participation in the WIC 241.1 Process

Pursuant to the Juvenile Court WIC 241.1 protocol:
  • A multi-agency (DCFS, Probation and DMH) evaluation of minors who appear to fall under both WIC 300 and 600 sections is performed. The product of this process is a report to the Court recommending which branch of the Juvenile Court (dependency or delinquency) should have jurisdiction. The role of JCMHS is to make a recommendation as to which system can best meet the minor’s mental health needs. Currently, approximately 120 such cases are referred each month to JCMHS for evaluation and recommendations.
    • JCMHS clinicians collaborate with the CSW and DPO to:
      • Collect existing mental health information
      • Obtain or perform new assessments as needed
      • Determine the extent and nature of a minor’s need for mental health services
      • Recommend to the Court how and where and under which Court system those needs can be best met
      • These activities and findings are documented in a written JCMHS report which is incorporated in the overall multi-agency report
    • WIC 241.1 activities are primarily performed by Psychiatric Social Workers.
    • Psychotropic medication treatment monitoring and quality improvement
  • Pursuant to the Juvenile Court Psychotropic Medication Authorization Protocol:
  • JCMHS medical staff (clinical pharmacist, psychiatrist, pediatrician) review all requests to the Juvenile Court for authorization to administer psychotropic medication to minors under Court jurisdiction and make recommendations to the Court as to the propriety of the proposed treatment. This enables the Court to obtain and properly interpret information relevant to decision making regarding such authorization (approximately 12,000 requests for Court authorization to administer psychotropic medication are reviewed each year).
  • Pursuant to a request from children’s judges or attorneys:
  • JCMHS medical staff performs an assessment of children’s need for treatment with psychotropic medication, response to treatment, presence of adverse effects etc. and consult with their attorneys and judges regarding authorization of the treatment and/or intervention by the Court to effect changes in treatment.
  • Crisis intervention
  • When requested by judges, attorneys or DCFS staff, JCMHS clinicians perform emergency evaluations of children who are at Court when there are urgent mental health concerns. If JCMHS intervention does not adequately resolve a crisis, JCMHS staff works with the responsible parties at Court to arrange for the child to be taken to an appropriate treatment setting.
Mental Health Services
Copyright 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles