Children and Youth Behavioral Health Work Group.
The Children and Youth Behavioral Health Work Group (work group) was established to identify barriers to and opportunities for accessing behavioral health services for children and their families and advise the Legislature on statewide behavioral health services for those children and families. There are 38 members of this work group, including legislators, representatives from state agencies, providers, parent and child representatives, and advocates.
At the direction of the co-chairs of the work group, the work group may convene advisory groups to evaluate specific issues and report related findings and recommendations to the full work group. The work group is required to convene an advisory group focused on school-based behavioral health and suicide prevention.
The work group must submit annual recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature.
Health Care Authority Annual Survey.
The Health Care Authority (HCA) is required to conduct an annual survey of a sample group of parents, youth, and behavioral health providers to measure the impacts of implementing minor behavioral health policies that were established in law in 2019. These annual surveys must be completed for three years ending on July 1, 2022. The HCA must submit a report on the results of the surveys to the Governor and the Legislature, with a final report due November 1, 2022.
State Office of Behavioral Health Consumer Advocacy.
In 2021 the State Office of Behavioral Health Consumer Advocacy (SOBHCA) was created to establish rules, standards, and procedures for behavioral health consumer advocacy services across the state. The SOBHCA must contract with a private nonprofit organization to provide behavioral health consumer advocacy services including certifying and coordinating the activities of behavioral health advocates across the state.
The Health Care Authority (HCA) must dedicate at least one full-time employee to:
The HCA must convene stakeholders, including Washington State Community Connectors, and consider the website prototype already under development to design, further define, and implement a parent portal, which is a method for connecting families to their community's service and education infrastructure related to behavioral health services for minors. By November 1, 2022, the HCA must provide a report to the Legislature and the Governor that describes:
The HCA work measuring the effects of implementing policies related to behavioral health services for minors are modified to require stakeholder engagement efforts instead of an annual survey of a sample group. The stakeholder engagement efforts must include live events soliciting feedback from stakeholders and alternative methods for stakeholders to submit feedback. The deadline for completing these stakeholder efforts are delayed until October 1, 2022, followed by subsequent efforts completed by July 1, 2023, and July 1, 2024. The HCA reports on these efforts are required to occur annually, with a final report due November 1, 2024 (instead of 2022).
Two parents or caregivers of a child who received behavioral health services, including one parent or caregiver of a child who received complex, multi-system behavioral health services; one parent or caregiver of a child ages 1 through 12; or one parent or caregiver of a child ages 13 through 17 are added to the statewide advisory council for the State Office of Behavioral Health Consumer Advocacy (SOBHCO).
Two representatives of Medicaid managed care organizations, one of which must provide managed care to children and youth receiving child welfare services, are added to the statewide advisory council for the SOBHCO.
The SOBHCO is required to develop and deliver educational programs and information statewide regarding family-initiated treatment and other behavioral health service options for minors. The SOBHCO is required to include behavioral health services for minors in its training and certification process for behavioral health consumer advocates.
June 9, 2022