71.36.010  <<  71.36.025 >>   71.36.040

Elements of a children's mental health system.

(1) It is the goal of the legislature that the children's mental health system in Washington state include the following elements:
(a) A continuum of services from early identification, intervention, and prevention through crisis intervention and inpatient treatment, including peer support and parent mentoring services;
(b) Equity in access to services for similarly situated children, including children with co-occurring disorders;
(c) Developmentally appropriate, high quality, and culturally competent services available statewide;
(d) Treatment of each child in the context of his or her family and other persons that are a source of support and stability in his or her life;
(e) A sufficient supply of qualified and culturally competent children's mental health providers;
(f) Use of developmentally appropriate evidence-based and research-based practices;
(g) Integrated and flexible services to meet the needs of children who, due to mental illness or emotional or behavioral disturbance, are at risk of out-of-home placement or involved with multiple child-serving systems.
(2) The effectiveness of the children's mental health system shall be determined through the use of outcome-based performance measures. The health care authority and the evidence-based practice institute established in RCW 71.24.061, in consultation with parents, caregivers, youth, behavioral health administrative services organizations, managed care organizations contracted with the authority under chapter 74.09 RCW, mental health services providers, health plans, primary care providers, tribes, and others, shall develop outcome-based performance measures such as:
(a) Decreased emergency room utilization;
(b) Decreased psychiatric hospitalization;
(c) Lessening of symptoms, as measured by commonly used assessment tools;
(d) Decreased out-of-home placement, including residential, group, and foster care, and increased stability of such placements, when necessary;
(e) Decreased runaways from home or residential placements;
(f) Decreased rates of substance use disorder;
(g) Decreased involvement with the juvenile justice system;
(h) Improved school attendance and performance;
(i) Reductions in school or child care suspensions or expulsions;
(j) Reductions in use of prescribed medication where cognitive behavioral therapies are indicated;
(k) Improved rates of high school graduation and employment; and
(l) Decreased use of mental health services upon reaching adulthood for mental disorders other than those that require ongoing treatment to maintain stability.
Performance measure reporting for children's mental health services should be integrated into existing performance measurement and reporting systems developed and implemented under chapter 71.24 RCW.


Effective date2019 c 325: See note following RCW 71.24.011.
FindingsIntentEffective date2018 c 201: See notes following RCW 41.05.018.
Effective date2014 c 225: See note following RCW 71.24.016.
Captions not law2007 c 359: See note following RCW 71.36.005.
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