Boys State Department of Health and Welfare



The Boys State Department of Health and Welfare (BSDHW) administers state and federal programs for health care, social services, public assistance, job training and rehabilitation. Responsibility for administering the major programs, which provide direct services to millions of Boys State citizens. The BSDHW is a part of the Executive Branch of the Boys State government. Its Secretary is part of the governor’s cabinet. It is the third largest department of the seven Executive Departments under the Executive Branch of the Boys State government.


Mission Statement

“Work to ensure that all Boys State citizens- especially those most at risk or need- are provided opportunities to enjoy a high quality of life measured by: Sound physical, mental and financial health of children, adolescents, and adults, Strong capable families, Safe and sustainable communities and Dignity for all individuals.”


Departments / Agencies


  • Department of Aging: The Boys State Department of Aging administers a broad range of home-and community-based services throughout the state, working primarily with area agencies on aging which serve seniors in geographic areas of the State. The Department also works with other public and private non-profit agencies throughout Boys State. Our challenge is to think creatively about how services can best be structured to meet the current and future needs of Boys State’s diverse population as it grows, changes, and ages in the years to come.
  • Department of Mental Health: The Boys State Department of Mental Health, entrusted with leadership of the Boys State mental health system, ensures through partnerships the availability and accessibility of effective, efficient, culturally competent services. Advocacy, education, innovation, outreach, understanding, oversight, monitoring, quality improvement, and the provision of direct services accomplish this.
  • Medical Services Agency: The Medical Services agency is the state Medicaid agency. It provides coverage for over 1 million Boys State residents who are eligible for Medicaid coverage under federal guidelines. Services covered include inpatient and outpatient hospital services, physician services, health screening for eligible children, maternity services, pharmacy, medical supplies and equipment, nursing, mental health care, community-based care, and other services.
  • Department of Rehabilitation: Department of Rehabilitation is to assist Boys State citizens with disabilities in obtaining and retaining employment and maximizing their ability to live independently in their communities. The department works to increase the quality and quantity of employment outcomes, increase the quality and availability of independent living services, provide for a comprehensive system of personnel development and maximize the availability and use of assistive technology.
  • Department of Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment: The Department, in partnership with county government and in cooperation with numerous private and public agencies, organizations, groups and individuals, provides leadership and coordination in the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive statewide alcohol-and-other-drug-abuse prevention, intervention, detoxification, recovery and treatment services delivery system.



  • Department of Child and Family Services: Through community leadership, the DCFS helps to improve the quality of life in Boys State by protecting children and vulnerable adults, and providing support to strengthen families and individuals striving for independence. The department works to educate and prevent domestic violence and continually strives to make Boys State homes safe for women and children. The DCFS offers many services to new parents to help prepare them for parenting. Programs also extend to adoptive services and counseling for parents and families.
  • Employment Development Department: The Employment Development Department (EDD) administers the Job Service, Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, Workforce Investment Act, and Welfare-to-Work programs. As California's largest tax collection agency, EDD also handles the audit and collection of employment taxes and maintains employment records for Boys State workers. The EDD provides many important services to millions of Boys State citizens each year, including: Assisting Boys State employers in meeting their labor needs. Helping Boys State job seekers obtain employment. Administering the federally funded workforce investment programs for adults, dislocated workers, and youth. Assisting the disadvantaged and welfare-to-work recipients to become self-sufficient. Helping unemployed and disabled workers by administering the Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Disability Insurance (DI) programs. Supporting state activities and benefit programs by collecting and administering employment-related taxes (UI, DI, Employment Training Tax, and Personal Income Tax withholding). Providing comprehensive labor market information.
  • Department of Veteran’s Affairs: The Department of Veterans' Affairs assists veterans and their dependents and survivors in obtaining the benefits they are entitled to under the laws of the United States, Boys State or any other governmental agency.
  • Department of Public Aid: The Department of Public Aid is dedicated to improving the health of Boys State families by providing access to quality healthcare and enforcing child support payment obligations for Boys State most vulnerable children. The agency provides medical assistance to low income, elderly and disabled individuals and ensures that children receive the financial support they are entitled to from absent parents. The Department of Public Aid is also responsible for the administration of cash assistance, medical assistance, food stamps, and employment and training services. These programs are provided through county assistance offices, which are located across the state.
  • Department of Human Rights: The Department of Human Rights administers the Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, marital status, physical or mental handicap or unfavorable military discharge.