Workgroup unveils plans for 'children's system' for mental health

Center Focus

Workgroup unveils plans for 'children's system' for mental health


Last week we told you about proposed improvements to Iowa’s adult mental health system. Legislation to enact those improvements continues to move forward. On Wednesday, Feb. 28, lawmakers got recommendations for a “children’s system” that would represent a step forward in bolstering mental health services for younger Iowans. 

Two members of the Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee—Ann Gruenewald, president and CEO of Four Oaks, based in Cedar Rapids, and Kim Scorza, president and CEO of Seasons Center, based in Spencer—outlined to the HHS appropriations subcommittee a strategy to provide equitable access to quality mental health and well-being services to children with a full array of needs, and in all areas of the state. 

The workgroup promoted a cross-systems approach that both treats a child's mental health symptoms and provides for broader well-being of the child and his or her family, including education, health care, employment and basic needs. Service delivery would occur at the local level; cross-system coordination and collaboration at the regional level; and the establishment of standards and measures of effectiveness at the state level. 

They recommended several initial steps yet this year, including establishing legislative support for the children’s system concept, continuing to fund and expand some local pilot efforts already underway, and creating a statewide board to oversee subsequent phases.

03/05/2018 4:05 PM |Add a comment
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