CCS Title V Needs Assessment Final Report Now Available

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has made available the 2018-2020 California Children’s Services (CCS) Title V Needs Assessment Final Report. Title V of the Social Security Act provides for programs to improve the health of all mothers and children, including children with special health care needs. As a condition of the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant Program, the Federal MCH Bureau requires each state agency to complete a needs assessment every five years.

The needs assessment was carried out by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Family Health Outcomes Project (FHOP) and included a number of focus groups, surveys, and key informant interviews. Findings of the needs assessment include topics such as family engagement in the CCS program, medical home availability, maintenance of insurance coverage, early and regular health screenings, availability of community-based services, and transition to adult care.

Notably, the needs assessment includes an examination of CCS Program capacity at the county level, finding local capacity challenges that impact the abilities of counties to implement the CCS program. Challenges include recruitment and retention of skilled staff, including therapists in Medical Therapy Units (MTUs), processing of eligibility determinations, requests for authorizations for services and durable medical equipment, and completion of annual medical reviews in a timely fashion. Additionally, the implementation of the Whole Child Model (WCM) has required considerable resources at state and county levels, and many CCS Administrators reported unanticipated and underfunded workload after implementing WCM without enough staff.

Overall priorities that were identified through the needs assessment were to make systems of care easier to navigate for children and youth with special health care needs and their families and to enhance family engagement and resilience. The full needs assessment is available here.