Variation in the Implementation of California's Full Service Partnerships for Persons with Serious Mental Illness

Authors

  • Todd P. Gilmer,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
    • Address correspondence to Todd P. Gilmer, Ph.D., Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0622; e-mail: tgilmer@ucsd.edu.

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  • Marian L. Katz,

    1. Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
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  • Ana Stefancic,

    1. Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, Pathways to Housing, Inc., New York, NY
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  • Lawrence A. Palinkas

    1. School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
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Abstract

Objective

This study examined variation in the implementation of California's Full Service Partnerships (FSPs), which are supported housing programs that do “whatever it takes” to improve outcomes among persons with serious mental illness who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Data Sources/Setting

Ninety-three FSPs in California.

Study Design

A mixed methods approach was selected to develop a better understanding of the complexity of the FSP programs. The design structure was a combined explanatory and exploratory sequential design (qual→QUAN→qual) where a qualitative focus group was used to develop a quantitative survey that was followed by qualitative site visits. The survey was used to describe the breadth of variation based on fidelity to the Housing First model, while the site visits were used to provide a depth of information on high- versus low-fidelity programs.

Principal Findings

We found substantial variation in implementation among FSPs. Fidelity was particularly low along domains related with housing and service philosophy, indicating that many FSPs implemented a rich array of services but applied housing readiness requirements and did not adhere to consumer choice in housing.

Conclusions

There remains room for improvement in the recovery-orientation of FSPs. Fortunately, we have identified several processes by which program managers and counties can increase the fidelity of their programs.

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