Kansas Selected for HMA Children’s Behavioral Health State Policy Lab

By Trish Svoboda

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Secretary Laura Howard announced in a release that Kansas has been chosen as one of only eight states to take part in the Health Management Associates (HMA) Children’s Behavioral Health (CBH) State Policy Lab in Baltimore, Maryland next month. The initiative aims to tackle challenges related to collaboration among state child welfare, behavioral health, and Medicaid systems, ultimately addressing unsatisfactory outcomes for vulnerable children in communities.

In collaboration with national membership organizations such as the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), National Association of State Medicaid Directors (NASMD), and the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), HMA has been actively investigating the potential for a collective state policy learning lab. Supported by funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs, Centene Foundation, and other contributors, HMA has successfully concluded preparations for the lab and initiated the application process for states interested in participating.

The policy lab aims to bring together state interagency teams, to include child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, Medicaid, and K-12 public education to collectively strategize, learn from innovators in the field, and encourage cross-system alignment to enhance outcomes for children, youth, and families.

KDADS collaborated with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Department for Children and Families, Kansas State Department of Education, and Kansas Department of Corrections to submit an application for participation

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