Amendment #1 to H.4244

H.4244, An act regarding families and children engaged in services

Ms. Khan of Newton move that the bill be amended inserting after section 1 the following the section:-

SECTION 2. (a) The department of mental health in collaboration with the department of youth services and the department of public health is hereby authorized and directed to conduct a comprehensive review of the mental health and substance abuse service needs of adolescents in the care of or detained in the commonwealth through the order of a juvenile court, including without limitation juveniles detained in the department of youth services or in the custody of the department of children and families, or receiving services from the department of mental health, the court clinics, probation, or otherwise, and including without limitation any such departments, offices, agencies or instrumentalities of the commonwealth, and any private organizations and agencies operating under arrangement with departments or agencies of the commonwealth. To complete said review, the department of mental health, department of youth services, and department of public health shall solicit input from the office of probation, the department of children and families, the department of education, the juvenile court, juvenile court clinics, the committee for public counsel services, the department of mental retardation, the division of insurance, the division of medical assistance, the Massachusetts Association of District Attorneys, at least one individual representing the interests of parents and families, at least one advocate for juvenile justice, at least one representative of a service provider community, and at least one representative from the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans. Said review shall be for purposes of identifying the following:



(i) existing and proposed models of alternatives to detention, within and outside the commonwealth, of providing mental health and substance abuse services to juveniles in detention, and as alternatives to detention; community resources and other dependencies which affect the appropriateness and effectiveness of models of alternatives to detention; and data demonstrating the relative efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and effect on public safety of alternative models;



(ii) unmet mental health and substance abuse needs of juveniles within the juvenile court systems of the commonwealth, including an explicit comparison of the best practices and models identified in paragraph (a) of this section with services and models available in the commonwealth;



(iii) recommendations for addressing unmet needs, including without limitation through the court clinics of the juvenile courts, and through contracting by the department of mental health for community-based services through community providers, or through consortia of community providers, local government agencies and others operating in congruence with local courts involved in the juvenile justice system.



(b) Within sixty days after the effective date hereof, the department shall post to its external website, for thirty days public comment, a proposed work plan to gather information necessary to prepare the report required by this section, in consultation with clinical, philanthropic and advocacy organizations for children, and providers of mental health and substance abuse services for minors. The proposed work plan shall be directed to submit a final report to the legislature and the governor no later than two hundred and seventy days after the effective date of this act.



(c)Within ninety days after the effective date of this act, the department shall post its final work plan on its external website.



(d) Within two hundred and ten days after the effective date of this act, the department shall post on its external website, for public comment, a draft report responsive to this section.



(e) Within two hundred and seventy days after the effective date of this act, the department shall post on its external website a final report responsive to this section, including a summary of all public comments received, and responses to such comments. The department shall also that day provide a copy of its final report to the governor, the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the chairs of the joint committees on mental health and substance abuse, and children, families and persons with disabilities, and the legislative mental health caucus.