We advocate on behalf of children and families – We create systems change to better serve the needs of children and families – We educate others to do the same
Together with partner organizations and interested individuals, EMQ FamiliesFirst advocates to create systems change in children’s mental health services at the local and statewide levels.
We believe that cost-efficient, evidence-based, performance driven, and family-centered services are at the core of quality services for children and families with behavioral health (e.g., mental health, substance use and other behavioral disorders) and other critical needs.
What We Do
We are committed to play a leadership role in key statewide initiatives, such as the development of a California Performance and Outcomes System for children’s mental health services so that the effectiveness of service can be analyzed and steps can be taken to assure improvement where needed.
We also track legislative proposals and policies in children’s behavioral health care and child welfare and work with elected officials to help shape the way public policy is created and implemented.
Public Policy Priority Areas
- Behavioral Health and Child Welfare Public Funding
- Children’s Behavioral Health
- Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) (a Medi-Cal Entitlement for eligible children)
- Katie A Settlement Implementation and References
- Implementation of Evidence-based and Science-informed services
- Child Welfare and Foster Care Services
- Health Care Reform (See resources below)
- Autism Services and Resources
From this work, we have deepened our appreciation for grassroots advocacy and understand its importance in accomplishing successful legislative action. Throughout the year, we’ll encourage our friends, supporters and colleagues to participate in the legislative process through letter writing campaigns. Many legislators argue that one clear, logical individual letter is worth more than a many-page petition with a thousand signatures!
Below you’ll find links and information we hope you will find useful.
Legislative Action center – Breaking Issues
- Contact your Senator or Representative
- Mental Health America - Mental Health Month
- National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Awareness Week
Health Care Reform and Mental Health
- National Council for Behavioral Health
- Autistic Self Advocacy Network – The Affordable Care Act and the I/DD Community
- California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies CCCMHA
- California Alliance of Children and Family Services
- Children’s Welfare League of America
- Children’s Defense Fund
- Lucille Packard Foundation for Children’s Health - KidsData
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- United Advocates for Children and Families
- Children’s Mental Health Network
To Get Updates and Alerts
Sign up for emails (on the top right) to get advocacy updates and calls to action plus news about EMQ FamiliesFirst programs and services. We will send you no more than one email per week.
For More Information
If you have additional comments or questions, please contact Eva Terrazas, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, or call her at (408) 628-5596.
Thanks for all you do to help
children in crisis and their families.