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LA County Stipend Program

Since 2005 the Los Angeles County’s Department of Mental Health (County) has partnered with the MFT Consortium of Greater Los Angeles (formerly, the Southern California MFT Consortium) and Phillips Graduate Institute in recruiting MFT students for employment in the County’s mental health delivery system. During the period from 2005 to 2012 the County awarded 406 educational stipends to graduating MFT students. In accepting the stipends students commit to work for one year at a mental health agency operated or contracted by the Department of Mental Health as an MFT Intern.

County Stipends Address Workforce Needs

The County stipend program for MFTs addresses the bilingual need for practitioners who could provide services in a language other than English. In the last six years the percentage of stipend recipients with a bilingual capacity ranged from 56 to 90. In addition, all of the stipend recipients had personal and work experience in the underserved communities of the County.

An extensive report on the County’s first five years of awarding educational stipends to MFT students concluded that the stipend program “made a significant contribution in addressing the Department of Mental Health’s workforce need for bilingual, multicultural clinicians working in diverse ethnic/racial communities and filling hard-to-hire positions.” (For the full report see CAMFT’s The Therapist, September/October 2010 issue.)

According to an earlier report (May 2008), “The partnership [between the MFT Consortium and the Los Angeles County] has made considerable strides in addressing the need for diversity in mental health workforce as outlined in the LAC DMH Internal Inventory.”

2014-15 LA County MFT Stipend Program

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health will be awarding up to 52 educational stipends of $18,500 to selected MFT students in the 2014-2015 academic year. The County has partnered with the MFT Consortium of Greater Los Angeles to address the County’s workforce need for qualified mental health practitioners capable of providing culturally and linguistically competent services in certain geographic areas or specialized treatment programs. Administration of the stipend program is provided by Phillips Graduate Institute.

Click here for more application information and the 2014-15 LA County Stipend Application form.

Answers to Anticipated Questions

  • If I am not bilingual do I qualify for the County stipend program? Yes. Language capacity in one of the threshold languages is one of seven priorities in the selection of stipend recipients. The other priority areas include multicultural capacity, willingness to accept employment in a high need regional area, willingness to accept employment in a high need service program, current or prior DMH experience, specialized training serving Veterans, and specialized training serving older adults.

  • If I applied to the State Stipend Program can I also apply to the County Stipend Program? Yes. You may apply to both the State Stipend and the County Stipend. However, a separate application must be submitted for each. If you are selected for both the State and the County Stipends, you may only choose one stipend. You will not be awarded both stipends.

  • If my school is not in Los Angeles County can I still apply? Yes. With these two requirements: 1) you need to attend a school that is a member of the MFT Consortium of Greater Los Angeles, and 2) if awarded a stipend, you need to secure employment in Los Angeles County with an agency operated or contracted by that County’s Department of Mental Health.

  • If I have already received a county stipend, can I apply for another one? No. Stipends are for graduate students. However, as an MFT Intern you may qualify for the Mental Health Loan Assumption Program offered through the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development - Health Professions Education Foundation. For more information, go to http://www.oshpd.ca.gov/HPEF/MHLAP.html.


Contact mftconsortium@pgi.edu for any additional questions.

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