LANSING, Mich. – The state of Michigan is working to help meet the behavioral health needs of children in foster care.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the state’s foster care and juvenile justice systems are experiencing a behavioral health crisis.
MDHSS stated in a news release that they are asking care providers to submit plans for placement in the state facilities to address the needs of those who should be in mental health stabilization programs. The department announced that there is a statewide request for proposals using new contracts that will be implemented in the summer of 2023, addressing more innovative care with those that deal with mental health issues. The demand for the change is also a result of a nationwide staffing shortage in these facilities, according to MDHHS.
“This is an important step forward to ensure that children in the foster care and juvenile justice systems who need mental health stabilization have a place to go to be treated,” said Executive Director of the department’s Children’s Services AgencyDemetrius Starling in a release. “To do that, we are asking our child-caring institutions to provide the behavioral health treatment youth need before they transition to homes with their parents, relatives or foster families.”
For these childcare facilities to earn a contract with the state, they must demonstrate that they can meet the specialized needs of the children as they make a request in the proposal process.
Facilities that would like to submit a proposal should go to the “Child Caring Institution – Therapeutic Short-Term Treatment Program” section of www.michigan.gov/SIGMAVSS. The bid number is 230000000402.
“Members of the Michigan Federation for Children and Families believe a strong partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is critical in expanding and providing equitable access to the full array of behavioral health services that best serve young people and their families,” stated executive director of the statewide association of private nonprofit community-based child and family-serving organizations that partner with MDHHS Janet Reynolds Snyder.