San Jose, Calif. September 5, 2017 – California’s Continuum of Care Reform (Assembly Bill 403) is dramatically changing the landscape of residential group homes for foster youth. With an increased focus on placing children in permanent and supportive family homes, AB 403 requires existing group homes to transition to Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Programs (STRTP) by the end of 2018. Unity Care is proud to be first in Northern California and sixth in the state to receive an STRTP license from the California Department of Social Services.
STRTP licensing requires providers to meet higher standards of care, be nationally accredited, and be able to deliver core mental health services that are trauma-informed and culturally relevant. According to Unity Care’s founder and CEO André Chapman, “This has been a huge undertaking for us, and our success is a testament to the strength of our services and to our outstanding staff.”
Unity Care’s STRTP is licensed for 30 treatment beds serving youth aged 13-17 who are involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems. “For 24 years, we’ve provided high quality, culturally proficient services to African American and Latino youth, who are overrepresented in those systems,” said Will Alexander, LMFT and Unity Care’s Director of Residential Treatment Services.
Unity Care services incorporate comprehensive and individualized treatment plans, psychiatric evaluation, individual, family and group therapy, case management, therapeutic behavioral services, and medication management. “The goal is for these youth who have suffered tremendous trauma to have permanency, and to mitigate further disruptions to their lives caused by multiple placement changes,” stated Chapman.
About Continuum of Care Reform: Based on many years of understanding that “children who must live apart from their biological parents do best when they are cared for in committed, nurturing family homes,” AB 403 reforms California’s child welfare program to ensure that services and supports “are tailored toward the ultimate goal of maintaining a stable permanent family.” (California Department of Social Services)
About Unity Care: Unity Care serves over 6,000 youth and families a year through culturally proficient services that provide housing, education, employment, mental health treatment, and unconditional care through 22 different programs. The organization has provided residential treatment services since 1993 and mental health services since 2001. Unity Care was accredited in 2015 by the Council on Accreditation (COA), a major national accreditation body for human services programs.