Expanding and improving children’s mental health is the goal of two new Illinois laws

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(WSIL) — Two pieces of legislation in Illinois were signed into law Wednesday. 

Those bills intend to expand and improve access to children’s mental health services, particularly for children in foster care.

SB3889 forms a Children’s Mental Health Council to research and recommend legislative action for children with mental and behavioral disabilities, particularly around residential placement needs. 

HB4306 amends the Children and Family Services Act to require all youth in foster care be assigned a mental health provider to perform well-being assessments and forms the Holistic Mental Health Care for Youth in Care Task Force. It requires that at least one member of the task force be a former youth in care to ensure the lived experiences and needs of children in care are recognized.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that up to 80 percent of children in foster care have significant mental health issues, creating a pressing need for treatment and services for this population.

The Holistic Mental Health Care for Youth in Care Task Force will assess capacity levels for mental healthcare providers serving children in care and review payment rates and recruitment to ensure retention of providers, particularly providers of color who serve the diverse population of children in care.

via WSIL-TV

May 25, 2022 at 04:25PM

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