WEST virginia legislature
2016 regular session
Senate Bill 286
By Senators Trump, Boley and Woelfel
[Originating in the Committee on Health and Human Resources; reported on January 29, 2016]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §49-2-127, relating to creating Commission to Accelerate Statewide Coordination of Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents; and providing findings, requirements, reports, recommendations and termination.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §49-2-127, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. state responsibilities for children.
§49-2-127. Commission to Accelerate Statewide Coordination of Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents; findings; requirements; reports; recommendations; termination.
(a) The Legislature finds that the state’s current system of addressing the mental and behavioral health needs of children and adolescents is fragmented. The existing categorical structure of government, schools, private and nonprofit programs and their funding streams discourages collaboration and effective utilization for limited resources.
(b) To improve care, the Legislature commissioned a study entitled “Identifying and Meeting Children’s Behavioral Health Needs: Feasibility and Effectiveness of In-state and Out-of-state Alternatives”. A key recommendation from this study was to develop and implement a unified statewide strategic plan to meet the behavioral health needs of West Virginia children and families, with particular emphasis on prevention and early intervention, utilizing school-based services and strengthening community-based services for children and families.
(c) This section is meant to foster the development of a comprehensive array of evidence-based and trauma-informed mental and behavioral health care services available to children, adolescents and their families where most needed in homes, schools, communities, provider agencies and facilities. To this end, recommendations are to be made to the respective agencies and to the Legislature regarding funding and statutory, regulatory and policy-related changes.
(c) It is further intended that the Legislature build upon these recommendations to establish an integrated system of care that makes prudent and cost-effective use of limited state resources by drawing upon the experience of successful models and best practices in this and other jurisdictions focusing on delivering services in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the needs of the child and which produces better outcomes for children, families and the state.
(d) There is created within the Department of Health and Human Resources the Commission to Accelerate Statewide Coordination of Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents. The commission shall consists of:
(1) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources
(2) The Commissioner of the Bureau for Children and Families
(3) The Commissioner for the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities
(4) The Commissioner for the Bureau for Medical Services
(5) The Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health
(6) The State Superintendent of Schools
(7) The Director of the Office of Institutional Educational Programs
(8) The Director of the Office of Special Education Programs and Assurance
(9) The Director of the Division of Juvenile Services
(10) The Coordinator of West Virginia Department of Education’s school health services
(11) The Coordinator of the West Virginia Department of Education’s school counseling services
(12) The Executive Director of the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorney's Institute
(13) A representative of the West Virginia School-Based Health Assembly (WVSBHA).
(14) A consumer representative affiliated with a school-based health center
(15) A teen representative affiliated with a school-based health center
(16) A school nurse
(17) A school counselor
(18) A representative of the West Virginia School Psychologist Association
(19) A representative of the National Association of Social Workers, West Virginia (NASW-WV) Chapter
(20) A licensed independent clinical social worker who works primarily with children and families, licensed in this state
(21) A faculty representative from the West Virginia University School of Social Work
(22) A representative of the West Virginia Primary Care Association (WVPCA)
(23) A pediatrician licensed to practice medicine in this state
(24) A child psychiatrist licensed to practice medicine in this state
(25) A representative of the West Virginia Behavioral Healthcare Providers Association (WVBHPA)
(26) A representative of a community-based private or nonprofit behavioral healthcare provider not affiliated with WVBHPA
(27) A representative of the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN)
(28) A family representative affiliated with a local Child Advocacy Center
(29) A representative of CASA for Children, Inc
(30) Two additional youth representatives, as identified and designated by the commission; and
(31) At the discretion of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, circuit and family court judges and other court personnel, including the Administrator of the Supreme Court of Appeals, the Juvenile Justice System Court Monitor, and the Director of the Juvenile Probation Services Division, may serve on the commission.
(e) These statutory members may further designate additional persons in their respective offices who may attend the meetings of the commission if they are the administrative head of the office or division whose functions necessitate their inclusion in this process. In its deliberations, the commission shall also consult and solicit input from families and service providers.
(f) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, or his or her designee, and the State Superintendent of Schools, or his or her designee, shall serve as cochairs of the commission. The commission shall meet on a quarterly basis or additionally at the call of the cochairs. The cochairs may also appoint committees, designate committee chairs and assign areas of study for reporting back to the full commission. These committees may meet as frequently as necessary upon the call of the chair of the committee.
(g) The commission shall study and recommend, at a minimum, strategies to improve timely access to comprehensive behavioral and mental health services available to all children and adolescents in the state. This work shall culminate in the development of a statewide strategic plan. This plan shall be completed by December 31, 2017.
(h) The work of the commission shall include:
(1) Establishing strategies across systems to reduce negative outcomes which may result from untreated behavioral disorders and/or mental illnesses, including but not limited to the following:
(C) Substance abuse
(D) Sexual assault
(E) Bullying, cruelty, violence and similar disruptions to learning
(F) Behavioral disruption of the educational environment
(G) Juvenile incarceration
(H) School truancy or dropout
(I) Teen pregnancy
(J) Prolonged placement in residential or foster care
(K) Homelessness; and
(L) Removal of children from their homes.
(2) Fostering and promoting innovative and promising evidence-based approaches to prevention, intervention and treatment, including:
(A) A positive social norms approach to prevention of substance abuse, bullying, cruelty and interpersonal violence
(B) Comprehensive wraparound prevention, support and intervention services available to all children, youth and families in their communities, schools and homes
(C) Trauma-informed therapy and systems of care
(D) Intensive outpatient treatment
(E) Crisis stabilization
(F) Day or partial hospitalization
(G) Assertive Community Treatment Teams; and
(H) School-based mental health care.
(3) Identifying ways to promote, integrate, coordinate and evaluate behavioral and mental health services across state, private and nonprofit agencies and organizations with respect to the problems facing children and adolescents and their families;
(4) Identifying alternatives to reduce the number of children who must be placed in residential and/or out-of-state facilities, and to instead serve the mental and behavioral health care needs of children and adolescents in less-restrictive community-based settings;
(5) Formulating recommendations to expand, coordinate and improve behavioral health and mental health care programs and services specific to the behavioral health and mental health care needs of all children and adolescents in their respective counties and communities across the state, emphasizing the need for collaborative and integrated services among multiple systems of care;
(6) Establishing statewide and regional partnerships among behavioral health, primary care, and educational systems to expand outreach and preventive services into underserved areas of the state;
(7) Identifying and promoting the use of effective evidence-based programs and activities across multiple systems of care;
(8) Identifying in-state service gaps and the feasibility of developing services to fill those gaps, including funding;
(9) Identifying fiscal, statutory and regulatory barriers to developing needed services in this state in a timely and responsive way;
(10) Identifying where behavioral and mental health services are provided in all counties and settings available to children, adolescents and their families.
(i) The commission shall report annually in writing to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability regarding its conclusions, recommendations and desired outcomes, including an implementation plan whereby:
(1) State systems of care, including the Bureau for Children and Families, the Bureau for Medical Services, the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, the Bureau for Public Health, and the Department of Education, shall identify and reduce barriers to providing the optimal level of care to state children and adolescents in the least restrictive setting, emphasizing and optimizing services provided in school and community based settings;
(2) Wait times for referral to ongoing behavioral and mental health therapy services will be reduced by fifty percent;
(3) Health and behavioral health services provided by county boards of education are enhanced by and fully coordinated with the services provided by school-based health centers and other community health, behavioral and mental health providers;
(4) An evaluation of the plan for strategic goals and objectives will be included as part of the annual report submitted to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability.
(5) Recommendations for changes in fiscal, statutory and regulatory provisions are included for legislative action.
(f) The commission shall terminate on December 31, 2017, unless continued by act of the Legislature.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the Commission to Accelerate Statewide Coordination of Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents; and provide findings, requirements, reports, recommendations and termination.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.