Family Voices of California
August 15, 2019

Public Charge Rule 
The type of government benefits whose enrollment or likely enrollment can be used to deny permanent legal status, or a green card, has been expanded to those related to health, nutrition, and housing, under a new regulation from the Trump Administration.  The use (or likely use) of Medi-Cal, Regional Center services, food stamps, subsidized housing, etc. will now be included in determinations used to deny permanent legal status.  Wealthier immigrants, who are designated as less likely to require public assistance, will be able to obtain a green card.
Scores of working families, children, seniors and people with disabilities stand to lose access to health care because of the "public charge" rule.

The Whole Child Model and Definition of Case Management

Under the Whole Child Model, the specialty care of California Children's Services (CCS) children in 21 counties has been rolled into Medi-Cal managed care plans.  Many families and advocates have been concerned about the provision of case management under the new model as it is considered a cornerstone of the CCS program.  Questions about how case management is defined and administered have prompted the Children's Regional Integrated Services System in collaboration with local CCS programs to develop a definition of case management as it has historically applied to the care of children in the CCS program.  The definition has been submitted to the Department of Health Care Services to help better define a benefit of the CCS program that is guaranteed to remain intact pursuant to Senate Bill 586, the legislation that enacted the CCS transition to the Whole Child Model.

New and Transitioning Staff at Family Voices of California

Jacqui Knudsen, Outreach and Education Manager, Whole Child Model Project
Before coming to Family Voices, Jacqui worked as Community Outreach Coordinator at Regional Center of Orange County and Supervisor at Comfort Connection Family Resource Center.  She has an adult son who was born with Down syndrome and she is on the Advisory Board for the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County.  It is Jacqui’s goal to help families and professionals navigate systems of care as smoothly as possible.  She lives with her family in Orange County and likes to hike in her spare time. 

Ali Barclay, Family Engagement Manager
Ali is very excited to broaden her family engagement work in her transition from the Whole Child Model Outreach & Education Manager to the new Family Engagement Manager at Family Voices of California.  She is looking forward to collaborating with Project Leadership graduates by connecting them with opportunities to provide input on policy affecting children and youth with special health care needs, facilitating connections between alumni across cohorts, and keeping families updated on groups and organizations looking for experiences and perspectives of families.  Being the sibling of an adult with disabilities motivates her to help families advocate for their loved ones and broaden that work to become change makers in their communities.


Shape California's Future: The 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission is looking for members! Click here for application information.

Help Me Grow National is conducting a parent survey to help them better understand the family experience during routine visits to the family's pediatrician.  Survey available in English and Spanish.

The Title V Needs Assessment is an evaluation of systems that serve children and youth with special health care needs, including the CCS Program.  Take the Title V Needs Assessment survey in English or Spanish! If you are interested in participating in the Title V Needs Assessment Stakeholder Group, which will work on developing an action plan to address issues reported in the survey, contact Ali Barclay at  The group meets in person and via online webinar, so remote participation is more than welcome!

The Medi-Cal Children't Health Advisory Panel has a vacancy and is seeking an individual who has received Medi-Cal benefits or services in relation to pregnancy, including, but not limited to, the Medi-Cal Access Program; and/or is a parent, foster parent, relative caregiver, or legal guardian of a Medi-Cal enrollee who is 21 years of age or younger.  Interested applicants should submit their Statement of Interest and resume to by September 6, 2019.

Webinars, Meetings, & Conferences


Critical Crossroads: Pediatric Mental Health Care in the Emergency Department | August 15, 3pm
This webinar will discuss a new toolkit to help prepare hospital emergency departments to manage care for children and adolescents in mental health crisis.
More information & register

Moving the Needle on Health Equity: Two Experts Share Successful Programs and Lessons Learned National Institute for Children's Health Quality | August 21, 1pm
This second webinar in the Health Equity Series will share experiences from two health equity champions: Arthur R. James, MD, an obstetrician, gynecologist and pediatrician who has sought to improve care for underserved populations for the entirety of his medical career; and Denise Evans, MM, MA, a certified facilitator on cultural intelligence and unconscious bias.
More information & register

MediCal for Children with Special Health Care Needs | Aug 29, 11am
FVCA will host this webinar to provide a comprehensive overview of the Medi-Cal program relating to children and youth with special needs. There will be time for Q and A with the presenter.
Click here to register.

CA Department of Developmental Services Announces Trainings on HCBS Settings Rule | August 20, 10am
This webinar is the first in a series of trainings and will describe the HCBS Final Rule, who it applies to, and why it exists. We will establish a common understanding of terms, discuss the review process for settings in California, and reinforce the important role stakeholder input plays.  The webinar will be held 
Webinar dates and times

Meetings & Conferences

Los Angeles State of Reform Health Policy Conference | September 18
State of Reform convenes practitioners, thought leaders, and policymakers to connect, network, and discuss the most pressing health care issues facing the system today.
More information | Register 

The ARC's National Convention | October 11-14
The Arc's National Convention is an opportunity to connect and learn with advocates, professionals, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families. If you are interested in employment, education, advocacy, housing, criminal justice, and more - our sessions are sure to challenge, inspire, and motivate! 
More information | Click here to register

West Coast Pediatric Palliative Care Summit | October 28 & 29, 2019
Join George Mark Children's House for the West Coast Summit focusing exclusively on Pediatric Palliative Care: Speakers | Best Practices | Insightful Breakout Session | Networking Opportunities
More information & Register

Career Opportunities

Children Now is hiring for two Sacramento-based positions: Health Policy Associate and Senior Associate, Early Learning.

Support for Families of Children with Disabilities is Hiring (San Francisco)
Bilingual Social Worker | Help Me Grow Coordinator | Occupational Therapist | Parent Mentor Coordinator - Cantonese
Click here for more information

In the News

Can Congress Protect Patients from Surprise Medical Bills and Lower Costs at the Same Time?
Push To Expand Access To Community Living Hits Roadblock
Exceptions to Network Adequacy Rules May Exacerbate Health Disparities in Medi-Cal
House Passes Autism Act
Telehealth:  NPR Features CHCF Telehealth Grantees-community health centers and Medi-Cal managed care plans to increase access to specialty care
The Real-Life Conversion Of A Former Anti-Vaxxer 
Early intervention in autism improves language, IQ and social skills


Lyft has added wheelchair accessible vehicles.  Click here for information on how to access this service.
Family Burden and Medical Complexity: Wrestling with the Meaning and Impact of Commonly Used Terms.  Read the article.
Say It Out Loud: Speaking with Teens about Mental Health gives adults tools to talk with teens about mental health, with the aim of removing stigma associated with getting treatment. It resource be adapted for use by community-based organizations, faith-based organizations and schools.
Get the toolkit from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Prescription Drug Rebates, Explained  A new animated video from the Kaiser Family Foundation explains how rebates for prescription drugs work and why they matter in the debate about lowering drug costs.
Watch the video

For more information contact

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