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Introduced Version Senate Bill 241 History

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Senate Bill No. 241

(By Senators Kessler, Helmick, Prezioso, Boley, McKenzie, Jenkins, Minear, White, Barnes, Dempsey, Foster and Hunter)

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Introduced February 21, 2005; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]


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A BILL to amend and reenact §5-26-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto three new sections, designated §5-26-7, §5-26-7a and §5-26-7b, all relating to establishing an integrated system of care under the Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families for children and families with, or at risk of, social, emotional and behavioral health needs.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §5-26-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto three new sections, designated §5-26-7, §5-26-7a and §5- 26-7b, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 26. GOVERNOR'S CABINET ON CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.
§5-26-2. Cabinet established.
(a) There is hereby created the Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families, hereinafter referred to as the "Cabinet." The Cabinet shall include the Secretary of Health and Human Resources or a designee; the Secretary of Military Affairs and Public Safety or a designee; the Secretary of Administration or a designee; the State Superintendent of Schools or a designee; and the Attorney General or a designee; one member of the Senate, to be appointed by the Governor, and one member of the House of Delegates, to be appointed by the Governor, both of whom shall serve in an advisory capacity only; and three members selected by the Governor from the citizens' advisory council as set forth in section two-a of this article. The Governor may appoint other administrative heads of government who shall serve in an advisory capacity only.
(b) In order to promote consistency and continuity in the work of the Cabinet, each Cabinet member appointed by virtue of his or her governmental office is encouraged to select a primary designee and an alternate designee to serve in his or her place when necessary.
(c) The Cabinet shall be chaired by the Governor and shall convene at least monthly during the first year and thereafter shall meet at least six times annually. The Cabinet shall establish bylaws which govern its decision making.
(d) The Governor shall appoint an Executive Director to carry out its work and to oversee staff adequate to fulfill its functions. The Executive Director shall function as a coordinator and facilitator for the Cabinet's members and the agencies and programs which they represent in carrying out the collaborative work required by this article.
§5-26-7. Integrated system of care; legislative findings; purpose; and intent.

(a) The Legislature finds that the state's current system of serving children and families in need of or at risk of needing social, emotional and behavioral health services is fragmented, inefficient and costly because the existing categorical structure of government programs and their funding streams discourages collaboration, results in duplication of efforts, wastes limited resources and is ineffectual in meeting the state's responsibilities. Such children are usually involved in multiple child-serving systems, including child welfare, juvenile justice and special education. More than ten percent of children who are in care are in out-of-state placements. Earlier efforts at reform have focused on quick fixes for individual components of the system at the expense of all others. However, the Mountain State Family Alliance, a grant-funded system of care model, has been operating in one region of the state with great success in reducing out-of-state placements, developing community capacity and providing better outcomes overall for children and their families.
(b) It is the purpose of this section and sections seven-a and seven-b of this article to provide for the creation and implementation of an integrated and coordinated system of care for children in need of these services and their families. It is further the intent of the Legislature that this system of care be based upon the experience of the Mountain State Family Alliance in southwestern West Virginia and the best practices of other successful system of care models, initiatives and pilot projects. (c) In enacting sections seven, seven-a and seven-b of this article, it is the Legislature's intent to ensure that children and families receive individualized services and supports that are family-driven, seamlessly blended across child-serving systems, and delivered through partnerships developed among families, providers, communities and governmental entities.
(d) In developing and implementing the integrated system of care, it is the intent of the Legislature that the Cabinet and its member agencies shall be guided by the following principles:
(1) The system of care shall be child-centered and family-focused, with the needs of the child and family dictating the types and mix of services provided;
(2) The system of care shall be community-based with management and decision-making responsibility about services for individuals and families resting at the community level;
(3) The system of care shall be culturally competent, with agencies, programs and services that are responsive to the cultural, racial, ethnic and economic differences of the populations they serve;
(4) The system of care shall be based upon intensive care coordination across systems;
(5) Service delivery shall focus on providing services in the least restrictive setting;
(6) Families shall fully participate in all aspects of the system of care, including service planning, delivery and evaluation; and
(7) Transition between child-serving systems and agencies shall be seamless and without regard to the point of entry.
§5-26-7a. Integrated system of care; duties of the Cabinet.
(a) The Cabinet shall develop a plan for an integrated system of care for children with, or at risk of, social, emotional or behavioral health needs and their families by the thirty-first day of December, two thousand five. To this end, the Cabinet may authorize the Executive Director to establish interagency planning and implementation teams. Such teams shall include the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Secretary of Military Affairs and Public Safety, and the State Superintendent of Education, each of whom shall additionally designate the administrative or managerial heads of programs within their sphere of authority that serve the target population. Private service providers, family members and community representatives shall also be included. All state child-serving agencies shall cooperate with these interagency planning and implementation teams and collaborate in their efforts to establish an integrated system of care.
(b) The system of care plan shall incorporate recommendations for statutory, policy and regulatory changes based on the experience and best practices of successful models, initiatives and pilot projects, such as the Mountain State Family Alliance.
(c) The system of care plan shall provide for regional and community planning and implementation teams that link to existing resources and entities such as the citizen advisory council established by section two-a of this article and the family resource networks provided in section two-b of this article.
(d) The system of care plan shall include cross-agency, annual funding recommendations for the initial three-year implementation phase based upon the principles of maximized funding, decategorized funding, pooled funding, blended and braided funding, performance-based budgeting and redirected or reinvested funding for both traditional and nontraditional services and supports. The funding recommendations shall provide for staffing of regional cross-agency teams, training and cross-training, development of community capacity, resource development and other appropriate items. All child-serving agencies designated by the Cabinet to participate in the system of care shall contribute funds for staffing and resources to develop and implement the plan.
(e) The system of care plan shall include objective, measurable indicators of performance by system of care components related to the following:
(1) Outcomes for children and families;
(2) Meaningful family involvement;
(3) Intensive care coordination;
(4) Value of the role served by multidisciplinary teams in treatment planning and service delivery;
(5) Sufficiency of service array;
(6) Training; and
(7) Use of standardized comprehensive assessments across systems.
(f) The system of care plan shall establish baselines, set forth both short and long-term goals for implementation, and clearly define incremental benchmarks of achievement. Specifically, the plan will:
(1) Target out-of-state placements of adjudicated youth and children in foster care and provide for reducing such placements by at least ten percent per year and by fifty percent within three years;
(2) Project that regional implementation teams will be in place by the end of the second year; and
(3) Project that community implementation teams will be in place by the end of the third year.
(g) The system of care plan shall require cross agency memoranda of understanding for joint administration.
(h) The administrative heads of system of care member agencies are authorized to seek all federal plan waivers or amendments necessary to implement the provisions of the plan.
§5-26-7b. Accountability.
The Cabinet shall track the progress of plan development and implementation and report results on a regular monthly basis to the designated Legislative Interim Committee. Beginning with the year two thousand six, the Cabinet shall also report annually at year's end on the performance of the system of care components, as measured by the criteria listed in section seven-a of this article, and submit recommendations for funding and for statutory or regulatory changes. Participating agencies shall be held jointly responsible by the Legislature for implementing the system of care and making it successful in improving the lives of children and families.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish an integrated system of care for children and families in need of social, emotional and behavioral health services.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

§§5-26-7, 7a and 7b are new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

This bill is recommended for passage in the 2005 Regular Session by the Legislative Task Force on Juvenile Foster Care Detention and Placement
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