Masters Thesis

Dealing with service delivery barriers in the California Children's Services Medical Therapy Program

California Children’s Services is a state program that provides health care and services to children who have unique health problems or certain diseases. Embedded within CCS is the Medical Therapy Program (MTP), which offers various health services related to physical or occupational therapy. In order for the MTP to operate and deliver services, outpatient clinics were established on public school sites known as medical therapy units (MTU). Collaboration between CCS and public schools became official after the Robert W. Crown act of 1968 made it mandatory to place MTUs on school grounds. It was ideal at the time it was mandated because MTU staff can simply provide therapy services in schools that had cohorts of children with special health care needs. A review of the literature suggests that the placement of MTU's in public schools is no longer an effective option as there are too many risks. The risks include inequality in the classroom, transportation barriers, and litigation. A questionnaire was created and distributed throughout all CCS counties of California, eight participants responded. The purpose of this study is to explore the issues that each county faces and understand how to overcome the barriers. The analyzed data present that some CCS counties may have a poor relationship public schools and some with no issues at all. Under the Garbage Can Theory, data suggests that there are already solutions floating out there; however, there are no actions or opportunities to get the decisions made. It is recommended that CCS counties assemble an MTP advisory committee with the inclusion of public school staff members to provide any information that could fill in the gaps. The committee may assign tasks to members or interns to explore issues and use the data to write bills or waivers to a legislative authority that can change the way MTU's operate.

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