LA County MFT Stipend Program


Sample – LAC DMH 23-24 Stipend Application

LA County Student Stipends

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LAC DMH) Stipend Program is a workforce initiative funded through the Mental Health Services Act for five fiscal years, 2022-23 thru 2026-27. Campbellsville University – Los Angeles Regional Center is the fiscal entity and administer of the LAC DMH Stipend Program.

The purpose of the LAC DMH Stipend Program is to recruit and grow the public mental health workforce with qualified clinical professionals completing the following degrees:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited School of Social Work (MSW)
  • Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in marriage, family and child counseling, marital and family therapy, psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or counseling with an emphasis in either marriage, family, and child counseling or marriage and family therapy (MFT)
  • Doctorate from an accredited college or university in psychology, educational psychology, education with the field of specialization in counseling psychology, or in a discipline deemed equivalent by the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs, Board of Psychology (Ph.D./Psy.D.)
  • Approved Master’s level Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner’s Program issued by an accredited college or university (PNP)

Each year 144 stipends will be awarded and allocated as follows: MSW (60), MFT (60), Ph.D./Psy.D. (20), and PNP (4). The County has the option to move stipends between disciplines based on the number of qualifying applicants. The amount per stipend regardless of discipline is $18,500. Students awarded a stipend will need to commit one-year employment post-degree in a clinical capacity at either a directly operated or agency contracted by LAC DMH.

Information for educators and interested students on the implementation of the stipend program will be provided on this website, which will be frequently updated. As well, all documents that students will need to review or complete will be accessible here.

Goal and Objectives of the LAC DMH Stipend Program

The goal of the LAC DMH Stipend Program is to contribute to the public mental health workforce with qualified new clinical professionals. It serves as a financial incentive to attract well trained, linguistically, and culturally competent students that will serve communities and consumers who have been historically underserved due to geographic location, or cultural and linguistic barriers, or intensive and difficult to recruit mental health programs. Towards that end, the program will offer educational stipends each academic year to graduate-level students in the four disciplines specified above.

The objectives of the LAC DMH Stipend Program include the recruitment of students with experience in the LAC DMH mental health delivery system through practicum training, and students with linguistic capacity to provide services in one of the threshold languages. The county has identified the following as threshold languages: Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Farsi, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, additional Chinese dialects, and American Sign Language.

To fulfill the goal and objectives of the LAC DMH Stipend Program, students with any of the following qualifications and/or experiences are encouraged to apply:

  • Interest in post-degree clinical training and practice of mental health care.
  • Interest in working as a mental health clinician in their own communities
  • Field training (practicum) in a DMH operated or contracted agency
  • Field training (practicum) in a community setting (non-DMH) that provided experience applicable to public mental health care
  • Clinical services provided in a non-English language
  • Knowledge and training in evidence-based practices
  • Experience in field-based practice such as in schools, homes, and other community sites.
  • Clinical service to older adults, veterans, immigrants, or the unhoused
  • Clinical care to those dealing with trauma, domestic violence, child/elderly abuse, or substance use/abuse
  • Personal experience overcoming hardships or emotional/physical challenges
  • Personal experience of family members dealing with serious mental health illnesses
  • Clinical experience providing in-person care

The application will allow students to provide information on their experiences and qualifications such as those listed above.

2023-2024 LA County Stipend Program

Students must complete their degree between September 1, 2023, and August 31, 2024 to qualify for the 2023-24 stipends. Students completing their degree after August 31, 2024 will be eligible to apply next year for the 24-25 LA County Stipend Program.

Students can begin to review the application on August 30, 2023. Applications must be completed and submitted no later than October 4, 2023. Applications received after October 4, 2023 will not be processed.

To avoid submitting incomplete applications, students should review the essays in advance of filling out the application. The application cannot be saved so students should review all information and essay responses for accuracy prior to submitting the application.

The application will be in three parts:

Part One – Applicant Identifying Information includes student’s identifying information, school attending, and the degree student will complete.

Students will be required to check two boxes in order to move forward on the application. One box affirms that the student knows that if awarded a stipend the student will need to complete one year of full-time employment in an agency directly operated by or contracted with LAC DMH. The second box affirms that the student can work legally in the United States.

Part Two – Qualifications and Experience includes information on the student’s practicum training (agency and city), clinical services provided in a threshold language (other than English), capacity to provide culturally competent services, experience providing field-based services, and specialized training (other than curriculum courses) in serving older adults, the unhoused population, and veterans.

Part two responses are limited to 50 words for each section.

Part Three – Essays includes six essays limited to 200 words per essay. In the essays the students are asked to describe their professional interest in public mental health practice, to describe their personal background and individual strengths they bring to clinical care in public mental health settings, and to describe how their work experience will apply in public mental health settings. In addition, the essays elicit students’ clinical experience providing in-person care, services via telehealth, and care within a multidisciplinary team approach.

Scoring of Parts Two and Three will be by a Selection Committee consisting of mental health professionals in each discipline who are knowledgeable in the clinical programs and the client populations served within the Los Angeles County’s mental health delivery system. The scores will be ranked separately by discipline. Students selected to receive a stipend will be based on the ranking of scores in their discipline. Students will be informed via the personal email provided in Part One whether their application was selected or not selected to receive the stipend. (Please note that applicant scores will not be provided to students.)

Stipend Orientation. Students selected to receive a stipend will need to attend the Stipend Orientation either on Thursday, November 16, 2023, 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM or Friday, November 17, 2023, 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. The Stipend Orientation will provide information on the students’ obligation to secure full-time employment in an LA County DMH directly-operated or contracted mental health agency. The Stipend Program Employment Contract, which students will need to sign and submit, will be reviewed and discussed during the orientation. The issuance of the stipend funds will be explained at the orientation. Attendance at the Stipend Orientation and submission of the signed Stipend Program Employment Contract, W-9 form, and Direct Deposit form are required for students to accept their stipend selection and to receive the stipend award of $18,500.

Students who are selected as alternates are also required to attend the Stipend Orientation. In doing so, student-alternates will be able to accept the stipend if an awarded student withdraws. Note that last year all of the student-alternates were awarded a stipend due to the number of student stipend recipients deciding to withdraw and not accept the stipend.

All communication to students by Campbellsville’s California Stipend Office will be through the following email address: caconsortium@campbellsville.edu.

2022-2023 LA County Stipend Program

The number of applications received and scored for the 2022-23 stipends is as follows:

  • MSW students: 168 applications received, with 154 scored and 14 incompletes
  • MFT students: 156 applications received, with 121 scored and 35 incompletes
  • D./Psy.D. students: 13 applications received and scored
  • PNP students: 7 applications received and scored

The chart below provides the number of students who attended the Stipend Orientation, submitted the required documents and have received the $18,500 stipend. Several selected students withdrew, and those stipends were awarded to the student-alternates and included in the chart. 144 were awarded by the Los Angeles County Stipend Program in 2022-23.

Number of Students Awarded a Stipend by School and Discipline

1Alliant International U0
2Antioch University1
3Azusa Pacific University41
4Arizona State University0
5Biola University2
6California Baptist U0
7California Lutheran U0
8CSU – Dominguez Hills3
9CSU – Fullerton11
10CSU – Los Angeles212
11CSU – Long Beach201
12CSU – Northridge52
13Chicago School of Psychology35
14Fuller Theological Seminary6
15Loma Linda University0
16Loyola Marymount U7
17Mt. St. Mary’s U10
18Pacific Oaks College10
19Pacifica Graduate U1
20Palo Alto University0
21Pepperdine University10
22Phillips Graduate Institute of CU5
23University of La Verne1
24UCLA             6
25University of Massachusetts Global0
27University of the West2

Updated August 15, 2023


Can I fulfill the employment obligation working for another county department, such as DCFS or Probation?

The stipends are awarded by the LA County Department of Mental Health (DMH) to grow its clinical workforce, so post-graduate employment needs to be at an agency affiliated with DMH.

I plan on pursuing another degree, am I still eligible?

Stipend recipients need to secure full-time employment at a qualifying agency. Pursuing a second or higher degree cannot interfere with that obligation.

What is considered full-time employment?

Full-time employment is determined by the agency/employer. Workdays and work hours are, of course, also determined by the agency/employer.

I am studying here on a student VISA, am I eligible to apply?

The goal of the county’s stipend program is to augment its pre-licensed clinical workforce ultimately increasing its licensed professional staff. Any temporary legal residence or employment restrictions does not promote the goal of the county’s stipend program.

Can I apply for another stipend once I have fulfilled my employment obligation?

Stipends are one-time awards to students while completing their degree. Once you have fulfilled your employment obligation for one year, you may qualify to apply to a different workforce program such as a loan assumption.

Do I need to live in LA County or attend a school in LA County in order to qualify for the stipend?

Residence in LA County or attendance at a school located in LA County is not required. However, if awarded a stipend you will need to secure qualifying employment at an agency in LA County that is affiliated with DMH.

Are students who can provide clinical services in another language, like Spanish, more likely to be awarded a stipend?

Although an objective of the county’s stipend program is to address the need for behavioral health care in the primary language of its consumers, capacity to provide services in a language other than English is only one of the qualifications that promote the goal of the county’s stipend program.

What if I am not able to complete one year of employment, do I need to return the stipend amount?

If you are not able to complete one-year, 12 months of qualifying employment, you will need to return the stipend amount of $18,500.

How will I receive the stipend amount of $18,500?

The full amount of $18,500 will be directly deposited to student’s bank account. Educational stipends, such as the ones awarded by the county, are tax-exempt if used for educational costs. The stipend amount will not be reported as income to the government.