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Coordinated Services Action Team (CSAT) and Referral Tracking System (RTS)

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The CSAT was created to accomplish the following: ensure the consistent, effective, and timely screening and assessment of mental health needs across all
populations of children served by DCFS; coordinate staff who currently link children to services within and across offices; and to systematically review capacity, access and utilization to current and future services. For the most part, existing resources within each Regional Office will form CSATs to link children and families for appropriate services, and track all referral results. The CSAT will be the primary system experts or navigators assisting CSWs to rapidly link children and families to needed services providing a strong complement to Intensive Services Workers (ISWs) and the Points of Engagement (POE) model.

Coordinated Services Action Team (CSAT) and Referral Tracking System was largely developed as a result of the deficiencies cited in the Health Management Associates (HMA) 2007 Report in relation to the implementation of the Enhanced Specialized Foster Care Mental Health Services Plan and the lack of a coordinated vision guiding the systematic mental health screening, assessment, and receipt of appropriate services. The CSAT seeks to coordinate, structure, and streamline existing programs and resources to expedite mental health assessments and service linkage, once a positive mental health screen or mental heath trigger has been presented.

Again, while the CSAT and Referral Tracking System originated from the Katie A. work, it has helped to promote the larger systems change effort required to effectively screen, assess, provide, and track services to children in foster care. Each CSAT team will also collect, manage and analyze data to provide local DCFS and DMH managers reports that will track trends and utilization patterns. The CSAT Lead will provide aggregate data for all of Los Angeles County to central DCFS and DMH management that will identify global and local trends, capacity issues, service gaps and successful innovations. This centralized data will also be used as a means of quickly identifying and tracking problems with specific providers, types of services, and the CSAT Referral Tracking System itself.

After a CSW completes a service referral form, the Service Linkage Specialists (SL Specialists), a newly created CSA I position, will act as the CSAT Lead. The SL Specialists become the system navigators and resource coordinators for the regional offices. They oversee, direct, coordinate, and link children and families to services. The SL Specialist will hold regular team meetings between all members of the CSAT to determine system improvements, ensure timely assignments to members of the team, arbitrate conflicts within the team, act as consultant to team members, and communicate policy and institutional barriers to service delivery to both Regional Administration and the Office of the Medical Director. They will also assume responsibility for tracking all activities of the CSAT, gathering, analyzing and producing data reports to the local DMH and DCFS managers.

The following staff who already exist in DCFS regional offices will work in collaboration with the CSAT Leads:

  • DCFS MAT Coordinators;
  • DCFS Team Decision Making Facilitators
  • DCFS Resource Utilization Management (RUM) Co-located Staff;
  • DMH Specialized Foster Care (SFC) and RMP Co-located Staff;
  • DCFS D-rate Clinical Evaluator;
  • Wraparound/System of Care Liaison;
  • Department of Public Social Services Co-located Staff (Linkages);
  • DCFS and DHS Nurse;
  • DCFS Educational Consultant;
  • DCFS Youth Development Coordinator;
  • DCFS Permanency Partners Program (P3) Staff;
  • DCFS Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) co-located staff.
CSAT Leads will, as needed, draw upon all staff listed above when necessary to facilitate delivery of specific services to the child and family.



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Los Angeles County Department of
Children and Family Services

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