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The New Era of Educationally Related Mental Health Services

With the passage of Assembly Bill 114 ("AB 114") on June 30, 2011, Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) have been responsible for the provision of mental health services as part of a students' special education and related services. Previously, county mental health providers had the responsibility to provide such services and in the 10 months since LEAs have been providing these services, mental health services have evolved to have a minimal presence in the special education setting.

Under the IDEA, related services should still include mental health services necessary for a student to benefit from his or her education. These include counseling services, psychological services, rehabilitation services, social work services, and residential placement services. Medication management was not afforded protection under federal law, so LEAs first dispensed with that service. Despite, the remaining responsibility over the milieu of required services, parents have seen LEAs shirk from their responsibilities and only provide minimal counseling services to their children.

The most drastic change though has been in regards to placement in residential treatment facilities. LEAs are placing less and less students residentially now that they are burdened with the costs of both the education and placement. It does not appear that students are suffering from less mental health issues or require fewer services to warrant this reduction, so this change is wholly inappropriate.

As a parent, if your child has significant mental health issues the best advice is to continue to request appropriate assessments, services and if necessary, residential placement.

Contact Our Office

If you have any questions about your child's special education services, Contact us by email or call us at 714-602-1498 or 866-781-7723 (toll free) for more information.

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Augustin Egelsee L.L.P.
8141 East Kaiser Boulevard
Suite 315
Anaheim Hills, CA 92808

Toll Free: 866-781-7723
Phone: 714-602-1498
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