Children, Youth & Families System of Care

Therapeutic Behavioral Services 

Therapeutic Behavioral Services (TBS) is an intensive, individualized, one-to-one behavioral coaching program available to children/youth up to age 21 who are experiencing a current emotional or behavioral challenge or experiencing a stressful life transition.

TBS is only available to children/youth with full-scope Medi-Cal benefits who are receiving ongoing mental health services.

TBS can help children/youth and parents/caregivers learn skills to increase successful behaviors and learn new ways of reducing challenging behaviors. TBS is not a stand-alone service; it supports an ongoing primary mental health service such as mental health therapy or case management.

TBS is available to children/youth who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Experiencing difficult behaviors which may jeopardize their placement;
  2. Currently living in a group home or short-term residential therapeutic program (STRTP);
  3. At risk of psychiatric hospitalization, or have been psychiatrically hospitalized within the last 24 months;
  4. Transitioning to a lower level placement; and
  5. Previously received TBS services.

Referrals are sent to the County's TBS provider for services.

TBS Prior Authorization Request & Referral

Form serves as both prior authorization request and referral form:

    TBS Referral Form - April 2022

    Fax referrals to Optum Public Sector San Diego at (866) 220 - 4495

For information, questions, and concerns  

Contact New Alternatives - TBS Office
Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
(858) 256-2180

TBS Program Brochure (English/Spanish) - updated August 2023

The material provided on this page is for reference only.  If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 9-1-1. If you need support or are actively seeking services, please call the ACL at 1 (888) 724-7240 (TDD/TTY Dial 711) and an experienced counselor will provide you with a referral to meet your needs and help determine eligibility.

For administrative information or to provide feedback about this page, send us an email.