Post Adoption Link | Sacramento

Choosing Therapeutic Support Services for You and Your Family

Families created through adoption have unique challenges that are not always addressed in traditional therapy settings. Although the adopted child in a family may have specific challenges, those challenges can greatly impact all members of the family.

An adoption competent therapist knows that children and teens should not be treated without significant input from parents and other significant family members. Parent's involvement and support for the therapy is crucial to the success of treatment. An adoption-competent therapist will value the participation of adoptive parents.

If a therapist does not have experience and training in understanding the core issues of adopted children and their families, they may not take into account the child's earlier experiences, leading to inaccurate diagnosis and treatment. In addition, adoptive parents may be viewed as the reason for the child's problematic behaviors. Adoption competent therapists understand the importance of helping children make sense of their early life experiences and find ways to help these experiences be incorporated into their new families.

Therapeutic services for adopted children and their families can be accessed through several funding streams and vary in scope and level of treatment. The most common access points are through private pay or insurance, Medi-Cal, Victim Witness or Special Education under 26.5/AB3632. Each of these funding streams requires its own set of guidelines and referral process and may include co-pays or limitations on length or scope of services.

Adoptive parents may utilize one or more of these funding streams for their children. This site offers basic information on accessing services and how to obtain services that are the least restrictive and most helpful for their family.

The range of services offered vary from less intensive, such as weekly therapy with one provider to intensive in-home and community based services, such as Wraparound, aimed at averting the need for residential treatment. In certain extreme circumstances, residential treatment could be an option if you have exhausted all other therapeutic resouces. See Glossary for descriptions of additional services.

For children adopted from Sacramento County, Medi-Cal funded mental health services are accessed through the child and family ACCESS team at (916) 875-9980. When calling be sure to have the child’s Medi-Cal card handy and be prepared to answer questions regarding the child’s behavior. It is important to include history of abuse, neglect, number of placements, etc. that may have occurred prior to adoption. This will assist the ACCESS team in selecting a level of service and provider that can best assist the child and family. It is important to note that residential programs are NOT accessed through the mental health ACCESS team, but through the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) of the county or state district office who finalized the adoption. Sacramento County AAP can be contacted at (916) 875-5967.

For children and youth residing in Sacramento County who were adopted from another county it may be necessary for the two counties to form an agreement prior to services being authorized. In these instances services may be delayed until an agreement is reached.