Webinar: Barriers to Discharges and Admissions to Community Placements for Behavioral Health Patients

This webinar will discuss admission criteria for Adult Residential Facilities (ARF’s) and Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE’s). As resources become more and more scarce every day we find ourselves at a crisis point in our efforts to serve the diverse population of Behavioral Health patients. The most recent closure of a large, well established program that offered crisis residential services for patients transitioning from an acute care setting is one such example of the rapid dwindling of resources and options for care teams. Understanding admission criteria for ARF’s and RCFE’s can go a long way to removing barriers to discharging a patient home or to an alternative placement. 

Conservatorship often plays a role in the most difficult placements faced by hospital staff. Conservatorship is the result of the social dilemma created when a person is so disabled that they are incapable of participating in planning for their own needs; the incapacitated person’s right to self-determination; and the community’s responsibility to respond to an incapacitated person in need.

The purpose of conservatorship is to provide individualized care and/or money management for persons who are unable to make decisions in their own best interests as a result of severe mental illness or cognitive impairment. Conservatorship deprives the impaired person of their personal liberties. Therefore, there are strict legal procedures and laws that must be followed by doctors, hospital staff and conservators which involve review and monitoring by the California Superior Court.

This presentation is intended to clarity the difference between LPS, mental health, conservatorship and Probate, cognitive impairment, conservatorship.


  1. Remove Barriers to admissions to community placements
  2. Advocating Resources to severe mental illness
  3. Understanding the dwindling services

Slides and Recording

Click here for sides and here for recording.


Lynda Kaufmann

Director of Government and Public Affairs
Psynergy Programs, Inc.

Lynda Kaufmann has been involved with mental health in California since 2002, with a strong focus on helping individuals move out of locked psychiatric settings. Since 2010, she has led the interface with government entities and public affairs for Psynergy Programs, identifying needs and developing solutions for counties under contract, and functioning as the liaison for County Mental Health board meetings and NAMI meetings. At Psynergy, she coordinates the effort to educate current, past and future family members, county mental health partners, law enforcement that incarcerate severely mentally ill individuals, and many others about Modified Therapeutic Communities, and how this model can expand the horizons of mentally ill adults.

Lynda has traveled to Trieste, Italy, London, and throughout United States to tour many programs serving the severely mentally ill populations to understand more progressive and integrative practices worldwide. Since returning to Psynergy in 2010 Lynda has personally worked with 600+ individuals moving from IMD levels of care back to the community in open, unlocked, healthy, clean and safe housing.

Christine Koper

Chris retired as the Chief Deputy Public    Administrator/Guardian/Conservator for the County of Sonoma in October of 2018.  Chris served as Chief Deputy for 9 years.  During that time she was responsible for the daily operations of all three programs, acting with full authority and sole responsibility.

Chris is a past president of the Executive Board of the California Association of Public Administrators/Guardians/Conservators; serving in successively responsible positions from 2011-2018.  Chris is a lifetime member of the Association and currently services as the Association’s Legislative Analyst.

Chris received a BA in Political Science with an emphasis in Constitutional law and the Politics of Health Care from Portland State University (1985) and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Gerontology from CSU Sonoma State (1995). Chris is the Principal of Koper and Associates consulting.