Improving Health Services for Foster Kids
Legislation that would improve behavioral health services for foster children passed the Senate on Monday with an overwhelming 28 – 0 vote, with 2 members absent. SB 1375 requires the Department of Economic Security, the Department of Health Services, and the AHCCCS to determine the most efficient way to provide medical, dental and behavioral health services for children in foster care, taking into consideration an integrated system of care. The bill is now awaiting a hearing in the House Reform and Human Services Committee.
SB 1375 was originally written to shift responsibility for behavioral health services for foster children from a multi-layered system at the Department of Health Services to the office in the Department of Economic Security that is already responsible for managing physical health care services for foster children. After input from state agencies, behavioral health providers, and the foster care community, the bill was amended to its present form.