The Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act allows specific people to ask the court to create a voluntary CARE agreement or court-ordered CARE plan for someone who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders and is experiencing untreated severe mental illness. The CARE plan may include treatment, housing support and other services. The CARE Court process involves assessments and a hearing to determine if someone is eligible. The county behavioral health agency is involved in the CARE Court process.
Implementation of CARE Court is phased. Santa Cruz County is in the second phase of implementation. We will begin accepting CARE Court filings on December 1, 2024.
You can find more information about the CARE Act and CARE Court in general by reviewing the following resources:
- California Courts Self-Help Guide
- 10 Things to Know About the CARE Act
- CARE Act Eligibility – Video explains who is eligible to participate in CARE Court
- Adult Civil Mental Health - information about the CARE Act, Laura's Law/AOT, and Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act
- CARE Act Resource Center - training and resources for county behavioral health agencies, counsel, volunteer supporters and other stakeholders who will be a part of CARE Court.