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CARE Act - California Health and Human Services

The Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act authorizes specified adult persons to petition a civil court to create a voluntary CARE agreement or a court-ordered CARE plan that can include treatment, housing support, and other services for persons with untreated schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders. The CARE Act creates a new pathway intended to deliver mental health treatment and support services upstream to the most severely impaired Californians who often experience homelessness or incarceration without treatment. This pathway is accessed when a person, called the “petitioner”, requests court-ordered treatment, services, support, and housing resources under the CARE Act prioritized for another person, called the “respondent”. The petitioner must fall under a specific group of people, such as specific family members, housemates, first responders, and behavioral health workers. The respondent must have a diagnosis on the schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorders.



The CARE Act is for people with schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorders and provides a less restrictive alternative to state hospitalization or an involuntary conservatorship.

To be eligible, a person must meet the following criteria:

  • Is 18 years of age or older.
  • Is currently experiencing a severe mental illness, specifically schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 5600.3 of the Healthy and Safety Code.
  • Is not clinically stabilized in on-going voluntary treatment.
  • At least one of the following is true:
    (1) The person is unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision and the person’s condition is substantially deteriorating OR
    (2) The person is in need of services and supports in order to prevent a relapse or deterioration that would be likely to result in grave disability or serious harm to the person or others, as defined in Section 5150 of the Healthy and Safety Code.
  • Participation in a CARE plan or CARE agreement would be the least restrictive alternative necessary to ensure the person’s recovery and stability.
  • It is likely that the person will benefit from participation in a CARE plan or CARE agreement.

The CARE Act creates a voluntary agreement that the respondent participate in Behavioral Health Services. The agreement can include court ordered treatment, support, and a housing plan.

Where can I find out more about the Behavioral Health Services?

California CARE Act Flyer

The CARE Act 101 webinar provides an overview of the court's role in implementation and highlights key topics and spotlights areas of greater interest for local courts and justice partners including eligibility criteria, referrals, and the court process. The presentation is approximately 30 minutes.

Form Description Link Resources
Petition to Commence CARE Act Proceedings (CARE-100) Use this packet to ask a court to start CARE Act proceedings on behalf of someone else. English

How to Complete the CARE-100 Form (external site pdf)

Information for Petitioner (Other Languages)

Request for Interpreter (RI-IN007) If you need an interpreter, please complete the Interpreter Request Form and file with the court. RI-IN007
Information for Respondents—About the CARE Act (CARE-060-INFO) Provides information for the respondent about the CARE Act. Explains what CARE Act proceedings are, summarizes petitioner’s and respondent’s rights, and describes the role of a supporter. CARE-060-INFO
(external site pdf)
Information for Respondent (Other Languages)
Disability Accommodation Request (MC-410) Ask the court for an accommodation for a disability while you are in court. Is also used to state the court’s decision (order) on your request for an accommodation. MC-410
(external site pdf)

Petitions to Commence Care Act Proceedings may be filed at any courthouse located in Riverside County or by using eSubmit. There are no filing fees associated with the filing of the petition.

All hearings for CARE Act will be held in Department 12 at the Riverside Historic Courthouse, 4050 Main Street, Riverside, CA with remote appearance availability.


  • Probate

    Probate Court handles decedent's estates, trust proceedings, guardianship proceedings, conservatorship proceedings, minor's compromises, and mental health filings.

  • Self-Help Legal Services

    The Self-Help Division provides general assistance to people who do not have attorneys.