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Children and youth behavioral health work groupAdvisory groupsReport to governor and legislature. (Expires December 30, 2026.)

(1) The children and youth behavioral health work group is established to identify barriers to and opportunities for accessing behavioral health services for children and their families, and to advise the legislature on statewide behavioral health services for this population.
(2) The work group shall consist of members and alternates as provided in this subsection. Members must represent the regional, racial, and cultural diversity of all children and families in the state.
(a) The president of the senate shall appoint one member and one alternate from each of the two largest caucuses in the senate.
(b) The speaker of the house of representatives shall appoint one member and one alternate from each of the two largest caucuses in the house of representatives.
(c) The governor shall appoint six members representing the following state agencies and offices: The department of children, youth, and families; the department of social and health services; the health care authority; the department of health; the office of homeless youth prevention and protection programs; and the office of the governor.
(d) The governor shall appoint the following members:
(i) One representative of behavioral health administrative services organizations;
(ii) One representative of community mental health agencies;
(iii) One representative of medicaid managed care organizations;
(iv) One regional provider of co-occurring disorder services;
(v) One pediatrician or primary care provider;
(vi) One provider specializing in infant or early childhood mental health;
(vii) One representative who advocates for behavioral health issues on behalf of children and youth;
(viii) One representative of early learning and child care providers;
(ix) One representative of the evidence-based practice institute;
(x) Two parents or caregivers of children who have received behavioral health services, one of which must have a child under the age of six;
(xi) One representative of an education or teaching institution that provides training for mental health professionals;
(xii) One foster parent;
(xiii) One representative of providers of culturally and linguistically appropriate health services to traditionally underserved communities;
(xiv) One pediatrician located east of the crest of the Cascade mountains;
(xv) One child psychiatrist;
(xvi) One representative of an organization representing the interests of individuals with developmental disabilities;
(xvii) Two youth representatives who have received behavioral health services;
(xviii) One representative of a private insurance organization;
(xix) One representative from the statewide family youth system partner roundtable established in the T.R. v. Strange and McDermott, formerly the T.R. v. Dreyfus and Porter, settlement agreement; and
(xx) One substance use disorder professional.
(e) The governor shall request participation by a representative of tribal governments.
(f) The superintendent of public instruction shall appoint one representative from the office of the superintendent of public instruction.
(g) The insurance commissioner shall appoint one representative from the office of the insurance commissioner.
(h) The work group shall choose its cochairs, one from among its legislative members and one from among the executive branch members. The representative from the health care authority shall convene at least two, but not more than four, meetings of the work group each year.
(i) The cochairs may invite additional members of the house of representatives and the senate to participate in work group activities, including as leaders of advisory groups to the work group. These legislators are not required to be formally appointed members of the work group in order to participate in or lead advisory groups.
(3) The work group shall:
(a) Monitor the implementation of enacted legislation, programs, and policies related to children and youth behavioral health, including provider payment for mood, anxiety, and substance use disorder prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment for children and young mothers; consultation services for child care providers caring for children with symptoms of trauma; home visiting services; and streamlining agency rules for providers of behavioral health services;
(b) Consider system strategies to improve coordination and remove barriers between the early learning, K-12 education, and health care systems;
(c) Identify opportunities to remove barriers to treatment and strengthen behavioral health service delivery for children and youth;
(d) Determine the strategies and resources needed to:
(i) Improve inpatient and outpatient access to behavioral health services;
(ii) Support the unique needs of young children prenatally through age five, including promoting health and social and emotional development in the context of children's family, community, and culture; and
(iii) Develop and sustain system improvements to support the behavioral health needs of children and youth; and
(e) Consider issues and recommendations put forward by the statewide family youth system partner roundtable established in the T.R. v. Strange and McDermott, formerly the T.R. v. Dreyfus and Porter, settlement agreement.
(4) At the direction of the cochairs, the work group may convene advisory groups to evaluate specific issues and report related findings and recommendations to the full work group.
(5) The work group shall convene an advisory group focused on school-based behavioral health and suicide prevention. The advisory group shall advise the full work group on creating and maintaining an integrated system of care through a tiered support framework for kindergarten through twelfth grade school systems defined by the office of the superintendent of public instruction and behavioral health care systems that can rapidly identify students in need of care and effectively link these students to appropriate services, provide age-appropriate education on behavioral health and other universal supports for social-emotional wellness for all students, and improve both education and behavioral health outcomes for students. The work group cochairs may invite nonwork group members to participate as advisory group members.
(6)(a) Staff support for the work group, including administration of work group meetings and preparation of full work group recommendations and reports required under this section, must be provided by the health care authority.
(b) Additional staff support for legislative members of the work group may be provided by senate committee services and the house of representatives office of program research.
(c) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the office of the superintendent of public instruction must provide staff support to the school-based behavioral health and suicide prevention advisory group, including administration of advisory group meetings and the preparation and delivery of advisory group recommendations to the full work group.
(7) Legislative members of the work group are reimbursed for travel expenses in accordance with RCW 44.04.120. Nonlegislative members are not entitled to be reimbursed for travel expenses if they are elected officials or are participating on behalf of an employer, governmental entity, or other organization. Any reimbursement for other nonlegislative members is subject to chapter 43.03 RCW. Advisory group members who are not members of the work group are not entitled to reimbursement.
(8) The work group shall update the findings and recommendations reported to the legislature by the children's mental health work group in December 2016 pursuant to chapter 96, Laws of 2016. The work group must submit the updated report to the governor and the appropriate committees of the legislature by December 1, 2020. Beginning November 1, 2020, and annually thereafter, the work group shall provide recommendations in alignment with subsection (3) of this section to the governor and the legislature.
(9) This section expires December 30, 2026.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2019 c 360: "(1) The legislature finds that the children's mental health work group established in chapter 96, Laws of 2016 reported recommendations related to increasing access to mental health services for children and youth and that many of those recommendations were adopted by the 2017 and 2018 legislatures. The legislature further finds that additional work is needed to improve mental health support for children and families and that the children's mental health work group was reestablished for this purpose in chapter 175, Laws of 2018.
(2) The legislature finds that there is a workforce shortage of behavioral health professionals and that increasing medicaid rates to a level that is equal to medicare rates will increase the number of providers who will serve children and families on medicaid. Further, the legislature finds that there is a need to increase the cultural and linguistic diversity among children's behavioral health professionals and that hiring practices, professional training, and high-quality translations of accreditation and licensing exams should be implemented to incentivize this diversity in the workforce.
(3) Therefore, the legislature intends to implement the recommendations adopted by the children's mental health work group in January 2019, in order to improve mental health care access for children and their families." [ 2019 c 360 § 1.]
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