California State Stipend Program
The Goals of the State’s MFT Educational Stipend Program:
- To recruit MFT students with the capacity to serve the culturally diverse needs of persons in mental health care especially in underserved communities
- To recruit MFT students who are in recovery of serious mental illness and have experienced public mental health care as clients or family members of clients
- To recruit MFT students who are trained in the delivery of recovery-oriented mental health services and have received instruction by those recovering from mental illness
- To recruit MFT students who are community-oriented with career plans to practice in public mental health as an MFT intern and licensed MFT professional
- To recruit MFT students who are committed to provide clinical services as a stipend recipient in a county designated by the state as County of Need
The long-range objective of the MFT educational stipend program is to promote public mental health as a career option for those entering the MFT profession. Towards that end, the stipend program promotes curriculum development in MFT graduate institutions that prepares MFT graduates for public mental health practice.
Click here for a map displaying the stipend recipients employed by county for the CA MFT Stipend Program from 2008 through August 2017. These stipend recipients secured paid employment or volunteer placement at a mental health service agency operated by or affiliated with a county mental health or behavioral health department as a mental health clinician.
The Mental Health Services Act
The State’s stipend program is funded through the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). Enacted in 2005, the mission of MHSA is to transform California’s public mental health delivery; in part, with mental health professionals dedicated to community service and to the care of those living with mental illness, by inspiring hope in their recovery, focusing on their personal strengths, respecting their cultural perspectives and learning from their lived experiences as consumers.
MENTAL HEALTH LOAN ASSUMPTION PROGRAM (MHLAP) For Registered or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists
Health Professionals Educational Foundation (HPEF) annually awards millions of dollars in scholarship and loan repayment awards to health professionals, including Registered or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. The Mental Health Loan Assumption Program (MHLAP) provides funding to retain qualified professionals working within the Public Mental Health System (PMHS). Counties determine which professions are eligible for their County’s hard-to-fill or retain positions. An award recipient may receive up to $10,000 to repay educational loans in exchange for a 12-month service obligation in a hard-to-fill or retain position within the County PMHS.
For additional information regarding MHLAP, visit the OSHPD website: http://www.oshpd.ca.gov/hpef/Programs/MHLAP.html
Documentation of Employment Search
Template for Document of Employment Search
Employment and Placement Verification Forms
Stipend Recipients are required to commit to one year of employment as payback for the California Educational MFT Stipend Program. The agency must be approved by the regional coordinator prior to acceptance. The verification forms below are required at initial hire as a registered MFT Intern by the Board of Behavioral Sciences.
Employment and Placement Completion Forms
Stipend Recipients are required to provide evidence of employment completion by submitting the Employment Completion Form or MFT Placement Completion Form. A full stipend requires twelve (12) consecutive months of payback on a full-time basis either as a paid employee or as a volunteer employee.