Select a language:

Community Assistance Recovery Empowerment (CARE)

Nurse and Patient

CARE is a new civil process established to allow counties to focus on serving persons with untreated mental illness and provide behavioral health services.

CARE Act connects a person struggling with untreated schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorders with a court-ordered Care Plan for up to 12 months.

Services provided may include: (1) behavioral health services (counseling, case management), 2) Medication management, 3) Housing resources, 4) Social Services and supports, 5) protection and self-determination of civil liberties by providing legal counsel and promoting supported decision making, and 5) Supporter to navigate Care process.



  • Adults, 18 years or older.
  • Diagnosed with a schizophrenia spectrum or other related psychotic disorders.
  • Experiencing behaviors and symptoms associated with severe mental illness.
  • Not clinically stabilized in on-going voluntary treatment.
  • At least one of the following:
    • Unlikely to survive safely without supervision and condition is substantially deteriorating.
    • Needs Services & supports to prevent relapse or deterioration, leading to grave disability or harm to others.
  • Participation in CARE Plan or Agreement is the least restrictive alternative.
  • Likely to benefit from participating in a CARE Plan or Agreement.



1. Family/Home

  • Persons with whom respondent resides.
  • Spouse, parent, sibling, adult child, grandparents, or another individual in place of a parent.
  • Respondent (i.e., self-petition).

2. County

  • County behavioral health director, or designee.
  • Public Guardian or designee.
  • Director of adult protective services or designee.

3. Tribal Jurisdiction

  • Director of a California Indian health services program, California tribal behavioral health department, or designee.
  • Judge of a tribal court located in CA, or designee.

4. Community

  • First responder (e.g., firefighter, paramedic, mobile crisis response, homeless outreach worker) with firsthand experience with the individual.
  • Director of a Hospital, or designee, in which the respondent is hospitalized.
  • Licensed behavioral health professional, or designee treating respondent for mental illness.
  • Director of a public /charitable organization providing behavioral health services or whose institution respondent resides.



  1. Complete petition (CARE100) and remember to fill out ALL requested information.
  2. Gather all  the required documentation.
  3. Include evidence that the respondent was detained for a minimum of TWO periods of intensive treatment (WIC, 5250 Holds), and most recent episode being within the last 60 days.
  4. Visit an OC Court self-help location to file the petition. Or E-File the petition at File At Home | Superior Court of California | County of Orange (



California Department of Human Services: For more information about the CARE Act, please visit

California Courts: For more information about Adult Civil Mental Health, please visit

Superior Court of CA – County of Orange: For information on help available through Self-Help Services in Orange County, visit self_help_services_care_court.pdf ( Or to find the nearest Orange County Court self-help location, visit

Court Forms can be accessed at:

To find other mental health and wellness resources in Orange County, visit or connect with a Navigator by calling (855) OC-LINKS.