Assembly Member Mitchell Authors Health Legislation

May 03, 2011

Health Services
Los Angeles County

Assembly Member Holly Mitchell, a longtime advocate of children‟s issues and expanded health care, has introduced two bills that would provide reimbursement to the Department of Health Services (DHS) for care provided to vulnerable children. The first of these bills is AB 396 which would allow the State of California to draw down federal matching funds for health services provided by DHS to underage youths from juvenile detention centers and probation camps.

The second bill, AB 652, would provide reimbursement to the County for critical initial medical and forensic examinations provided to children who are suspected of being victims of abuse and/or neglect. These medical exams, as required by the state, are essential for social workers to determine whether a child must be removed from danger, and for law enforcement to prosecute offenders. DHS operates 6 medical hubs that deal strictly with looking after medical needs of child victims of physical, sexual abuse, and neglect.

By introducing both bills, Assembly Member Mitchell seeks to strengthen ongoing efforts to provide vulnerable children with highly specialized care. Prior to being elected to the California State Assembly, Holly Mitchell served on the staff of a state senator, was a Policy Analyst for the state Senate's Committee on Health and Human Services, was a Legislative Advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty, and served as Executive Director of the non-profit Crystal Stairs where she advocated on behalf of children. DHS is honored to have Assembly Member Mitchell author this very important legislation.