Strengthening Children’s Social and Emotional Health: Key Lessons From California

Learn Innovative State- and County-Level Strategies for Improving Children’s Health, Development and Well-Being at a New Webinar From Manatt and the Center for the Study of Social Policy.

The events of 2020 brought to center stage the importance of long-standing efforts by leading pediatric providers, child advocacy organizations, researchers and others to push for a more equitable and advanced child health system that offers family-based, whole-child care. Although widely known among researchers and experts, the COVID-19 pandemic and social reckoning with systemic racism intensified the reality that the health of children is affected by far more than their access to medical care. Children’s health is also driven by the social and emotional challenges they face, including the health and well-being of their parents and caregivers, the financial stability of their families, the safety of their environment, and the extent to which they face racism and discrimination.

In a new analysis, Manatt Health, independent consultant Donna Cohen Ross and the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) identify innovative strategies and options California can use to leverage Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, for creating an equitable and advanced healthcare system that addresses the full array of factors that drive children’s health. In a new webinar, Manatt, Donna and CSSP will share key findings from the analysis, highlighting best practices that all states can adapt to advance and promote children’s social and emotional health and leverage Medicaid resources.

Key topics that will be covered include:

  • Notable steps California has taken—and other states can implement—to strengthen child health and the broader early childhood system.
  • The key characteristics of an equitable and advanced child health delivery system.
  • Short-term strategies (12 months) states can adopt quickly leveraging existing resources, to drive improvements in children’s healthcare.
  • Longer-term strategies (2 – 5 years) for fueling fundamental change in the healthcare system for young children—and the time and resources required for implementation.
  • County-level models and approaches that demonstrate fresh ideas and options—and how they can be put into action.
  • Lessons learned for other states seeking to build a framework for building a more effective child healthcare system.


Jocelyn Guyer, Managing Director, Manatt Health
Alice Lam, Managing Director, Manatt Health
Deborah Kong, Program Officer of Children, Families, and Communities Program at The David & Lucile Packard Foundation
Kris Perry, Deputy Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency for Early Childhood Development; Senior Advisor to Governor Newsom on Implementation of Early Childhood Development Initiatives
Donna Cohen Ross, Independent Consultant

Date and Time

Thursday, February 4

If you would like to receive an audio transcript of this webinar due to accessibility issues, please email us at

This program does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. Views expressed by presenters are strictly their own and should not be construed to be the views of Manatt or attributed to Manatt.



pursuant to New York DR 2-101(f)

© 2024 Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.

All rights reserved