Become Familiar with the Guidelines: Information Notice 08-2
Here are some suggested ideas and tools to help develop a
Regional Partnership. Activities need to support the strategies
and requirements in DMH Information Notice 08-20.
As described in the Information Notice, Regional Partnerships are
an important workforce strategy to:
Assist the Public Mental Health System in its efforts to
expand outreach to multicultural communities;
Increase the diversity of the workforce;
Promote consumer and family member employment;
Reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and;
Promote the use of web-based technologies and distance
From Information Notice 08-20:
Regional Partnerships are groups of County approved
individuals and/or organizations within geographical proximity
that act as an employment and education resource for the Public
Mental Health System. The group may include educational and
employment service entities, individuals and/or entities within
the Public Mental Health System, and individuals and/or entities
that have an interest in the Public Mental Health System, such as
county staff, mental health service providers, clients, and
clients’ family members. Regional Partnerships may often cross
county boundaries, and can serve as a collaborative network in
which multiple Counties can plan for and eventually implement
activities to obtain and share Workforce Education and Training
Regional Partnerships help counties, educational
institutions, and other stakeholders by:
Identifying areas of needs that county mental health systems
have in common. These may be training needs, educational program
needs or structural needs.
Providing a forum for discussion policy implementation
Identifying best practices within the region.
Providing training, speakers or other events that serve a
Providing an additional funding source to meet county
workforce development needs.
Developing strategies or projects that counties may have
wanted to develop with their WET plan but are more appropriate
for a regional focus.
Serving as a resource for available job and internship
Determine how Regional Partnership Funding should be Budgeted
(including decisions about Sub-Regions)
Regional Partnership funding is budgeted at $1.8 million for
three years: $600,000 per fiscal year for each of the five CMHDA
regions for staffing, infrastructure and regional projects.
Current funding encompasses fiscal year 2008-09 through fiscal
year 2010-11. The application for funding, Information Notice
08-20, is very straightforward with minimal budget
requirements. While the application does not require a
detailed line-item budget, the following overall budget
categories should be considered for planning purposes:
Personnel: funding considerations/line items:
Regional Partnership Coordinator(s)
Administrative Support Staff (depending on size of
Travel costs: regional travel, meetings in Sacramento,
trainings, conferences, etc.
Website development. (CIBHS has developing a Regional
Project expenses: This is an area that will become more
concrete as the Regional Partnership develops. There may already
be some clear priorities established. The power of Regional
Partnerships is also the diversity of experiences that different
partners bring to the table. As the Coordinator becomes more
familiar with the needs of the region, strategies and projects
will likely emerge. Examples might be as simple as developing a
two-page newsletter or as complex as a distance learning project
with a local college or university.
Funding for additional years (beyond fiscal year 2010-11) will be
determined by the overall effectiveness of each Regional
Partnership as determined by the MHSA government partners: DMH,
CMHDA, the Planning Council and the MHSA Oversight &
Accountability Commission. This will include the accomplishment
of specific objectives as identified in each Regional
Partnership’s application to DMH. Regional Partnerships are also
strongly encouraged to procure outside funding for ongoing
sustainability (grants, contracts, etc.).
Identify which County will serve as the Fiscal Sponsor for the
Partnership and Hire the Regional Partnership Coordinator
As outlined in Info Notice 08-21, funding for Regional
Partnerships will be awarded to one “host” county (from among the
five geographic regions) as mutually agreed upon by the local
regional mental health directors. Once the application is
approved by DMH the host county’s existing MHSA Agreement is
amended to add the new funds. That county then becomes
responsible for any reporting to DMH.
When considering hiring a Coordinator, remember that the
individual in this position will have a regional, rather than
an individual county focus, which needs to be factored into
the job description, human resource requirements, and reporting
structure. The hiring entity will provide salary, benefits,
office space and infrastructure support. This situation can be
flexible, depending on needs.
The new Coordinator positions will require a different skill set
than many existing mental health positions/classifications:
excellent strategic planning, communication, facilitation and
project management skills; an understanding of collaborative
processes; experience working with diverse stakeholder groups and
a great deal of personal initiative. The coordinator needs to be
comfortable and competent working with local, regional and state
leaders. CIBHS has developed a coordinator job description that
is included in Part IV, Resources.
Staff will need to have a local, direct report or supervisor
– depending on a county’s size this could be the mental health
director, deputy director, program director, etc. Whoever is
the direct report also needs access to all the county mental
health directors in the regional partnership.
The Regional Partnership may decide to contract with another
agency to manage the work.
The Coordinator will also report, in a broader sense, to a
leadership or Steering Committee of the Regional Partnership (see
Regional Partnership Coordinators will meet regularly with
the CIBHS and CMHDA workforce staff for ongoing training, sharing
and support in specific areas, such as collaborative work and
educational partnerships; ongoing technical assistance; and
informational updates on statewide workforce initiatives, current
projects and new opportunities.
Organizational Considerations for Regional Partnership
When planning the Regional Partnership, consider how and where
staff will work. Options may include:
Physically housed in a county or CBO setting – existing space
and infrastructure add to the practicality of this option; this
would increase funding for travel and projects.
Virtual office/home office with access to county facilities
for meeting rooms, etc.