Representative McCluskie, sponsor, presented House Bill 20-1006 and distributed two handouts (Attachments D and E).
This bill requires the Department of Human Services (DHS) to develop and implement a statewide voluntary program of early childhood mental health consultation by July 1, 2022. The program is intended to increase the number of qualified mental health consultants supporting professionals who work with young children and to give guidance and support to families, caregivers, and providers in addressing the social-emotional developmental needs of children through age eight. In developing the program, the DHS must create:
• a model of consultation that includes qualifications, outcome, and job expectations for mental health consultants, and guidance on ratios between consultants and the setting they support by July 1, 2021;
• a professional development plan to support mental health consultants in meeting expectations by July 1, 2021;
• a certification process for mental health consultants by July 1, 2022; and
• a data collection and information system to analyze implementation and outcomes of the program by July 1, 2022.
The bill also requires the DHS to present to the General Assembly on the number of available and needed mental health consultants and any adjustments needed to meet the consultants' targeted caseload. Finally, the bill requires the DHS and the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to explore funding options for the program and report their findings to the Joint Budget Committee by January 1, 2022.