Illinois bolsters children's mental health with 2 new laws

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law two pieces of children's mental health legislation, WJOL reported May 26.

One of the bills, SB3889, forms a children's mental health council to further research and recommend legislative action for children with mental and behavioral disabilities, the report said. The other, HB4306, amends the Children and Family Services Act to mandate that all youth in foster care be assigned a mental health provider for well-being assessments.

HB4306 also forms a task force for youth holistic mental healthcare, the report said. At least one member of the task force is required to be a former youth in care. It will determine capacity levels for providers serving children in care and review payment rates and recruitment to encourage retention of providers, especially those of color.

The children's mental health council formed by SB3889 willoutlined to recommend how to expand bed numbers and mental health provider numbers, the report said. The council will provide those recommendations to the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the State Board of Education, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services and any other agency with a role in child care or treatment.

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