Seneca’s Policy Priorities

Policy Priorities 2023-2024

Seneca’s policy priorities are grounded in our mission, our foundational promise of providing Unconditional Care, and our commitment to promoting equity and justice within the public systems that serve children and families.

Our policy priorities are established annually by soliciting input from our direct care and administrative staff, conducting listening sessions with programs across the agency, and maintaining an understanding of the local, state, and federal policy initiatives on the horizon. Through this information-gathering process, our policy team works to identify key policy priority areas and policy initiatives that will positively impact the youth and families we serve, our staff, and our sector as a whole.

Each of Seneca’s current priorities is listed below, with examples of types of initiatives we may engage with to advance each priority area.

Workforce Pathways and Investment

  • Promote the expansion of career pathways into the public services workforce, especially for BIPOC individuals and individuals with lived experience with public systems
  • Advocate for enhanced funding for recruitment and retention incentives for staff at all levels

Prevention and Early Intervention Services

  • Advance policies that address social determinants of health and the root causes of racial and ethnic disparities in behavioral health and child welfare system involvement
  • Support managed care service expansion in schools to serve youth with mild/moderate behavioral health needs
  • Inform federal Families First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) implementation to reduce unnecessary and disproportionate involvement in the child welfare system for low-income families and families of color
  • Inform CalAIM implementation, promoting more equitable, accessible, and effective Medi-Cal behavioral health services for youth

Intensive Services for Youth with Complex Needs

  • Support the development of multi-tiered crisis services for youth (crisis stabilization, crisis residential, inpatient hospital alternatives)
  • Advocate for increased access to enhanced care programs for foster youth
  • Inform the statewide rollout of mobile crisis response and integration with 988 in both California and Washington
  • Promote policies that increase educational access and continuity of services for students with intensive mental health needs

Safe, Healthy, and Inclusive Schools

  • Promote policies that support and appropriately fund community schools, integrated tiered mental health services, healing-centered education, positive behavioral responses, and restorative justice approaches in schools.
  • Advocate for increased resources for schools serving low-income students, students of color, and students with disabilities, including the integration of funding and service coordination across other child-serving systems (behavioral health, social services, primary healthcare)
  • Promote policies and approaches that support the inclusion of students with disabilities in the mainstream setting

Reducing Administrative Barriers to High-Quality Service Provision

  • Advocate for policies that reduce and standardize Medicaid documentation requirements
  • Promote streamlined behavioral health credentialing processes across county and managed care systems
  • Participate in the implementation of the semi-universal Electronic Health Record system development in California

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