Children’s Mental Health Act

Public Act 102-0116 (HB212)

(effective 7/01/2021; formerly Public Act 93-0495 (SB 1951))

AN ACT in relation to children.

WHEREAS, Untreated mental health problems in children have serious fiscal consequences for the State because they affect children’s ability to learn and increase their propensity for violence, alcohol and substance abuse, and other delinquent behaviors that are extremely costly to treat; and

WHEREAS, One in 10 children in Illinois suffers from a mental illness severe enough to cause some level of impairment; yet, in any given year only about 20% of these children receive mental health services; and

WHEREAS, Many mental health problems are largely preventable or can be minimized with promotion and early intervention services that have been shown to be effective and that reduce the need for more costly interventions; and

WHEREAS, Children’s social development and emotional development are essential underpinnings to school readiness and academic success; and

WHEREAS, A comprehensive, coordinated children’s mental health system can help maximize resources and minimize duplication of services; and

WHEREAS, The Illinois Children’s Mental Health Task Force engaged a broad,multi-disciplinary group that reached consensus on recommendations that serve as the basis for the provisions of this Act; therefore

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly:

Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003.

Section 5. Children’s Mental Health Plan.

a. The State of Illinois shall develop a Children’s Mental Health Plan containing short-term and long-term recommendations to provide comprehensive, coordinated mental health prevention, early intervention, and treatment services for children from birth through age 18. This Plan shall include but not be limited to:

1. Coordinated provider services and interagency referral networks for children from birth through age 18 to maximize resources and minimize duplication of services.

2. Guidelines for incorporating social and emotional development into school learning standards and educational programs, pursuant to Section 15 of this Act.

3. Protocols for implementing screening and assessment of children prior to any admission to an inpatient hospital for psychiatric services, pursuant to subsection (a) of Section 5-5.23 of the Illinois Public Aid Code.

4. Recommendations regarding a State budget for children’s mental health prevention, early intervention, and treatment across all State agencies.

5. Recommendations for State and local mechanisms for integrating federal, State, and local funding sources for children’s mental health.

6. Recommendations for building a qualified and adequately trained workforce prepared to provide mental health services for children from birth through age 18 and their families.

7. Recommendations for facilitating research on best practices and model programs, and dissemination of this information to Illinois policymakers, practitioners, and the general public through training, technical assistance, and educational materials.

8. Recommendations for a comprehensive,multi-faceted public awareness campaign to reduce the stigma of mental illness and educate families, the general public, and other key audiences about the benefits of children’s social and emotional development, and how to access services.

9. Recommendations for creating a quality-driven children’s mental health system with shared accountability among key State agencies and programs that conducts ongoing needs assessments, uses outcome indicators and benchmarks to measure progress, and implements quality data tracking and reporting systems.

10. Recommendations for ensuring all Illinois youth receive mental health education and have access to mental health care in the school setting. In developing these recommendations, the Children’s Mental Health Partnership created under subsection (b) shall consult with the State Board of Education, education practitioners, including but not limited to, administrators, regional superintendents of schools, teachers, and school support personnel, health care professionals, including mental health professionals and child health leaders, disability advocates, and other representatives as necessary to ensure the interests of all students are represented.

b. The Children’s Mental Health Partnership (hereafter referred to as “the Partnership”) is created. The Partnership shall have the responsibility of developing and monitoring the implementation of the Children’s Mental Health Plan as approved by the Governor. The Children’s Mental Health Partnership shall be comprised of: the Secretary of Human Services or his or her designee; the State Superintendent of Education or his or her designee; the directors of the departments of Children and Family Services, Healthcare and Family Services, Public Health, and Juvenile Justice, or their designees; the head of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, or his or her designee; the Attorney General or his or her designee; up to 25 representatives of community mental health authorities and statewide mental health, children and family advocacy, early childhood, education, health, substance abuse, violence prevention, and juvenile justice organizations or associations, to be appointed by the Governor; and 2 members of each caucus of the House of Representatives and Senate appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate, respectively. The Governor shall appoint the Partnership Chair and shall designate a Governor’s staff liaison to work with the Partnership.

c. The Partnership shall submit a Preliminary Plan to the Governor on September 30, 2004 and shall submit the Final Plan on June 30, 2005. Thereafter, on September 30 of each year, the Partnership shall submit an annual report to the Governor on the progress of Plan implementation and recommendations for revisions in the Plan. The Final Plan and annual reports submitted in subsequent years shall include estimates of savings achieved in prior fiscal years under subsection (a) of Section 5-5.23 of the Illinois Public Aid Code and federal financial participation received under subsection (b) of Section 5-5.23 of that Code. The Department of Public Aid shall provide technical assistance in developing these estimates and reports.

Section 10. Office of Mental Health services. The Office of Mental Health within the Department of Human Services shall allow grant and purchase-of-service moneys to be used for services for children from birth through age 18.

Section 15. Mental health and schools.

a. The Illinois State Board of Education shall develop and implement a plan to incorporate social and emotional development standards as part of the Illinois Learning Standards for the purpose of enhancing and measuring children’s school readiness and ability to achieve academic success. The plan shall be submitted to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Partnership by December 31, 2004.

b. Every Illinois school district shall develop a policy for incorporating social and emotional development into the district’s educational program. The policy shall address teaching and assessing social and emotional skills and protocols for responding to children with social, emotional, or mental health problems, or a combination of such problems, that impact learning ability. Each district must submit this policy to the Illinois State Board of Education by August 31, 2004.

Section 95. The Illinois Public Aid Code is amended by adding Section 5-5.23 as follows:

(305 ILCS 5/5-5.23 new)
Sec. 5-5.23. Children’s mental health services.

a. The Department of Public Aid, by rule, shall require the screening and assessment of a child prior to any Medicaid-funded admission to an inpatient hospital for psychiatric services to be funded by Medicaid. The screening and assessment shall  include a determination of the appropriateness and availability of out-patient support services for necessary treatment. The Department, by rule, shall establish methods and standards of payment for the screening, assessment, and necessary alternative support services.

b. The Department of Public Aid, to the extent allowable under federal law, shall secure federal financial participation for Individual Care Grant expenditures made by the Department of Human Services for the Medicaid optional service authorized under Section 1905(h) of the federal Social Security Act, pursuant to the provisions of Section 7.1 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Administrative Act.

c. The Department of Public Aid shall work jointly with the Department of Human Services to implement subsections (a) and (b).

Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon becoming law.

Effective Date: 8/8/2003

Illinois Children’s Mental Health Act
Public Act 93-0495
(SB 1951)



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