Clients and Families

Since 2012, Catalight Care Services (formerly the Behavioral Health Provider Network) has supported families in Northern California through innovative practices and evidence-based treatment modalities. Today, it is at the forefront of person-centered care for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

If a client already has a provider in our robust network, they can receive real-time intervention from a behavioral health practitioner and access to a multidisciplinary support team. By driving the speed of care and reducing barriers to diagnosis, we are able to help improve the overall wellbeing of the client and their family. 

Catalight Care Services delivers care that changes people’s lives in ways that are most important to them.

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care paths

Each client is paired with a multidisciplinary care team to develop a treatment plan that aligns with the unique needs and goals of the client’s family.

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Providers in our network are committed to high standards of clinical care and outcomes, leveraging new modalities founded on evidence-based data.

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Family-centered approach

Our providers take a family-centered approach to care, empowering parents with choices to meet the unique needs of the entire family.

Everyone deserves to choose their own path

At Catalight Care Services, we believe in protecting the rights of our clients at all times.

Our services

Meeting clients and families where they are

Our providers take a family-centered approach to care, ensuring the unique needs of the entire family are met and their progress is measured across a breadth of outcomes. We also empower parents with choice throughout the care journey, putting them in the driver’s seat for their child’s treatment and offering flexible parent-mediated modalities of care.

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Applied behavior analysis

Applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is available in person and through telehealth, has consistently shown to increase communication and social skills and decrease challenging behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
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Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy, including daily living and task-oriented activities, can help clients increase their level of functioning and become more independent.


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Naturalistic developmental and language-based services

Since there is no one-size-fits-all approach to care, we support individuals and their families wherever they are on their path by offering naturalistic development and language-based interventions.
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Speech therapy

Speech therapy can help clients improve communication and language capabilities through a variety of speech and behavioral health treatments.

Coordinated care

At Catalight Care Services, we focus on the wellbeing of our clients and their families. We offer comprehensive case management services and support throughout the entire client care journey. Integral to these services is our care team, which is focused on:

  • Providing oversight and care coordination with the treatment team, client and family, and payor
  • Serving as the primary point of contact for client and family
  • Delivering resources and guidance as needed
Coordination of care

Quality + accreditations

At Catalight Care Services, we are committed to high standards of clinical care and client satisfaction as validated by our CARF International (CARF) three-year accreditation for Service Coordination and Network Management. CARF surveyors noted, “the organization demonstrates a strong commitment to the clients [which is] clearly visible in the staff members’ conscientious attention to detail and collaborative efforts.”

We also require providers in our network to adhere to all laws and regulations and participate in ongoing training about the latest research in the field, up-to-date treatment approaches, cultural awareness and understanding of the diverse populations we serve.

CARF Gold Seal

Seeing the big picture

Integrating social health considerations to improve behavioral health outcomes. 

Brianna Fitchett, MA, BCBA Vice President, Remote Care and Program Design, Catalight
Li Ern Chen, MD, Chief Population Health Officer, Catalight

For clients with developmental disabilities and their families, it can be challenging to find the right level of care and support—especially with today’s current practices. Often, they are faced with a disjointed care journey and inconsistent outcomes.

Traditional approaches to care may exacerbate these problems as treatment can be shaped without considering the variety of factors that can impact behavioral health and the ability to successfully onboard and sustain treatment.

Catalight is working to widen perspectives on behavioral health by identifying social determinants of health and how they impact a client’s ability to benefit from behavioral health care. This includes working with the providers in its network to integrate social determinants of health into treatment plans and to build aspects of social health into their research and data collection to help produce better outcomes.


Expanding the approach to treatment

For more than a decade, Catalight has provided clients and their families with timely access to evidence-based care with flexible treatment options to drive better outcomes. With a multidisciplinary care team, Catalight’s flexible interventions benefit the wellbeing of the entire family, giving them the tools, support and confidence to handle everyday challenges.

To measure success, the organization looks at the breadth of outcomes across the entire family and has found that positively impacting the parents and family also positively impacts the child, producing improved outcomes.

As part of this approach, Catalight takes a holistic view of population health management, considering social health and physical health, as well as behavioral health. This allows clinicians to take a more proactive approach to overall health to improve outcomes, reduce disparities in the intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) population and help prevent new health problems from developing.


Social health and behavioral therapy outcomes

Catalight’s research and clinical excellence team cascades best practice training to its provider network, helping practitioners identify social determinants of health and social risks, including health literacy.[1]

This mirrors the U.S. government’s Healthy People 2030 initiative, which sets data-driven national objectives to improve health and wellbeing over the next decade and identifies social determinants of health, health equity and health literacy as its three priority areas.[2]

Social determinants of health are the non-medical factors that influence health outcomes. They are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age—overlayed with a wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life, including the various social, economic and environmental factors that influence an individual’s health.[3]

These determinants can impact a person’s access to healthcare, quality of life, and ability to live a healthy lifestyle. Some examples of social determinants of health include education and skills, access to food and housing, and money and resources.

With training, clinicians have an opportunity to pick up on social health risks and help influence change so clients and families are ultimately able to better engage in care and benefit from treatment.


Improving health literacy improves outcomes

As an example, one of Catalight’s key focus areas involves research, measurement and practical treatment applications to improve health literacy with its clients and families.

Personal health literacy is the degree to which individuals can find, understand, and use information and services to make informed health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.[4]

For Catalight’s client families, health literacy is a measure of an individual’s ability to understand their child’s treatment and take it to the next step—being able to advocate for their child’s needs.

However, positively impacting this measure can be more difficult than it seems. Take basic literacy for example—on average, 54% of U.S. adults have literacy below 6th grade level.[5] If their literacy level doesn’t allow them to understand what the treatment plan is and why it is in place, they won’t be able to advocate for their child’s needs.

Examples of how Catalight is encouraging its providers to practically apply health literacy standards include:

  • Using common language. Removing jargon, avoiding technical or clinical terms and acronyms.
  • Checking for understanding. Asking for examples and giving examples using their actual child will help confirm understanding.

Health literacy can help shape the future of the family and their overall health outlook. Beyond a specific intervention, Catalight is empowering families to understand their treatment and inspire confidence to advocate for their child’s needs with teachers, physicians and other caregivers. Ultimately, it can set them up for success and have a ripple effect across other aspects of their health and for their entire family.


Looking ahead holistically to improve outcomes

Beyond their expansive behavioral health care practice today, Catalight is working to integrate health literacy as a larger component of its framework for care. The organization is working with its clinical teams to integrate more aspects of health literacy into its parent-mediated treatments. Catalight is also measuring the social determinants of health via its Wellbeing Scales and other mechanisms to collect more data and track progress.

It’s another example of how Catalight’s proactive approach to looking at the breadth of outcomes across the entire family increases self-determinism and improves overall wellbeing.


Self-Care for Caregivers

To be the best caregiver you can be to a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), you need to take care of yourself first.[1]

Consider the following questions [2]:

  • Do you find moments in your day to slow down?
  • Do you make small changes throughout the day to help care for your mind and body?
  • Do you cope with stress in healthy ways?
  • Do you look for community resources that can help manage your stress?

If “no” is the answer to any of these questions, you may need to step back and identify ways to incorporate the following advice (developed with input from Autism Speaks and the Interactive Autism Network) into your daily
routine. The goal, and our hope, is to lessen your anxiety and worries so that you can be a happy and healthy caregiver.

Join a Parent-led Support Group [3]

  • Support groups can provide insight into the services available for ASD in your area
  • It may be helpful to listen to or talk to others who are having/have had the same experience as you
  • Consider joining a recreational program for individuals with autism: this may be a way to meet other caregivers like you

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help [1]

  • People around you may want to help, but they may not know how
  • Is there someone who can cook dinner for the family so you can focus on caregiving? Can another family member pick up groceries or finish the laundry? Don’t be afraid to reach out!

Take a Break [1]

  • Get regular sleep so you can make better decisions, be more patient with your child and manage stress
  • Research shows that caregivers who learned special breathing and relaxation techniques, mediation and other exercises to improve coping fare better with anxiety, depression, sleep, and their sense of well-being
  • Go for a walk, see a movie or visit a friend. If you feel guilty, remind yourself that a break will help you feel renewed for things you need to do when you’re done

Practice Acceptance as a Journey to Stress Relief [3]

  • According to Amy Keefer, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Kennedy Krieger’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders, caregivers who are accepting of where their loved ones are today seem less anxious
  • Caregivers who experience less stress celebrate each achievement and developmental gain as it occurs and aren’t focused on where their care recipient needs to be or what goal he or she needs to reach

Consider Journaling [1]

  • Some caregivers find journaling to be a productive way to track progress and recognize what’s working and what isn’t
  • Writing can be a great outlet to express emotions; according to Louise DeSalvo, the author of Writing as a Way of Healing, “writing has been linked to improved immune function, improved emotional and physical health, and positive behavioral changes”


  1. Caring for the Caregiver. Autism Speaks.
    Accessed September 17, 2019.
  2. Coping with Stress While Caring for a Child with Autism. – Mental Health Treatment Resource Since 1986. Accessed September 18, 2019.
  3. Stress and the Autism Parent. Interactive Autism Network. Published January 2, 2019. Accessed September 17, 2019.
  4. Dykens EM, Fisher MH, Taylor JL, et al. Reducing distress in mothers of children with autism and other disabilities: A randomized trial. Pediatrics. 2014;134(2):e454-63.