Seal Beach City Council supports California’s ‘CARE Court’

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The Seal Beach City Council this week approved a resolution supporting the “CARE Court” program. The vote was unanimous. District One Councilman/Mayor Joe Kalmick spoke in support of the proposal.

This was the first item on the agenda.


“The Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court is a new State-level proposal to get people with mental health and substance use disorders the support and care they need,” wrote SBPD Capt. Michael Henderson in the staff report he prepared for the council.

“CARE Court is aimed at helping the thousands of Californians who are suffering from untreated schizophrenia spectrum or psychotic disorders that too often lead to homelessness, incarceration, institutionalization, or premature death,” Henderson wrote.

“CARE Court includes accountability on the individual and on local governments with court orders for services,” Henderson wrote.

“In order to meet the urgent needs for care and housing we see in our communities, families, and streets, CARE Court must be enacted by July 1, and local partners can begin implementation in the following months,” Henderson wrote.

“CARE Court is designed on the evidence that many people can stabilize, begin healing, and exit homelessness in less restrictive, community-based care settings,” Henderson wrote.

“It’s a long-term strategy to positively impact the individual in care and the community around them,” Henderson wrote.

“The plan advances an upstream diversion from more restrictive conservatorships or incarceration,” Henderson wrote.

“The CARE Court response can be initiated by family, county and community-based social services, behavioral health providers, or first responders. Individuals exiting a short-term involuntary hospital hold or a misdemeanor arrest may be especially good candidates for CARE Court,” Henderson wrote.

“Participants who do not successfully complete Care Plans may, under current law, be hospitalized or referred to conservatorship – with a new presumption that no suitable alternatives to community care are available,” Henderson wrote.

“All counties across the state will participate in CARE Court under the proposal,” Henderson wrote

“If local governments do not meet their specified duties under court-ordered Care Plans, the court will have the ability to order sanctions and, in extreme cases, appoint a receiver to ensure services are provided,” Henderson wrote.