Section 16. There shall be a statewide advisory council which shall consist of one member from each area board, elected by the members thereof, to serve for a term of one year. Said council shall advise the commissioner in matters of statewide interest relating to the delivery of social services for children and families. At least one such member shall be a member from the financial or business professions with special fiscal or budgetary skill.
The council shall work to facilitate the medical evaluation process and recruitment of physicians, dentists and mental health professionals to medically screen and evaluate children newly admitted to foster care. To accomplish this goal the council shall consult with pediatricians, family practice physicians or a nurse practitioners, dentists, psychiatrists, psychologists or licensed independent clinical social worker therapists, the family and probate court, the juvenile court, and the Massachusetts medical assistance program. The council shall report annually on or before December 31 to the commissioner any recommended changes to the department's regulations or policies that would facilitate the medical evaluation process and recruitment of necessary personnel.