CHCIAGO, Ill. (WEHT) – On March 18, Governor Pritzker announced the Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative to evaluate and redesign the delivery of behavioral health services for Illinoisan children and adolescents.
“I’m launching the Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative to evaluate and redesign the systems that support our most vulnerable kids and adolescents – so that down the line, Illinois families will be better able to access holistic, wraparound support for children in need,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Under the leadership of nationally recognized child welfare expert Dana Weiner, PhD, and six state agency heads, this Initiative will deliver a transformative blueprint by the end of the year.”
“Illinois has a strong foundation on which to build; we need an intentional, coordinated strategy that leverages the strengths of our human service agencies, providers and communities to provide families with consistent, accessible, transparent solutions to the challenges they face,” said Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Director Dana Weiner. “We can do better for our children and families – we must do better.”
Examples of some of these plans include:
- Making services available closer to Illinois families
- “The establishment of the Interagency Working Group comes at a time when many of our families are in acute crisis – forced to make unthinkable decisions about sending their children out of state just to get their care they need,” said State Representative Lindsey LaPointe (D-Chicago). “Today, we take a big step to make Illinois work for not only all our families, but also our providers who we have undervalued for far too many years.”
- More funding for certain Illinois departments
- According to the press release, that includes extra funding for the Support Services Team at the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide services for children with developmental disabilities, as well as committing $100 million these past three years to congregate care and therapeutic settings at the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS).
- Redone independent living programs
- The Governor’s proposed fiscal year 2023 budget provides a new investment of $7 million for a completely redesigned independent living program which will better support youth transitioning out of DCFS’ care, says the press release.