Early Childhood and School Readiness Legislative Commission. The bill directs the department of human services (department) to design, implement, and operate a statewide program of early childhood mental health consultation (program). The purpose of the program is to support mental health care across the state in a variety of early childhood settings and practices. Specifically, the program must be designed to:
- Increase the number of qualified and appropriately trained early childhood mental health consultants (mental health consultants) for on-site consultations; and
- Utilize the mental health consultants, through on-site visits, to support a variety of early childhood settings and practices from the prenatal period through 8 years of age.
The program must also include a:
- Model of consultation for mental health consultants (model) that includes job qualifications and expectations, expected outcomes, and guidance on ratios of mental health consultants and the settings they support. The model must include standards and guidelines for mental health consultants developed from evidence-based programs.
- Professional development plan for mental health consultants;
- Certification process for mental health consultants; and
- A published list of certified mental health consultants.
The bill requires the department to actively collect data related to the program and make regular reports on the program to the joint budget committee of the general assembly and as part of its annual "State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act" hearing.
The department, in collaboration with the department of health care policy and financing, is directed to explore additional funding options for the program.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)