High Hopes for Medicaid Reform 

What: Medicaid will switch to a managed care system for screening and treating low-income children with emotional and behavioral health issues.

The Players: New York State Department of Health; the state Office of Mental Health; the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Children’s Medicaid Redesign Team Behavioral Health Subcommittee, which has been tasked by the governor to help reform Medicaid; private insurance companies.

How much:  To be determined.

How many:  Approximately 700,000 children aged 0-5 who are eligible for Medicaid statewide; approximately 424,000 in NYC.

When: Calendar year 2017. 

The mental health issues facing most young kids now fall through the cracks of the health care system. By one estimate, 70 percent of children with developmental disabilities and mental health problems are not identified until they start school.

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Therapies to Keep Young Kids Out of Foster Care

What: Services and other social-emotional supports, including dyadic therapy, to keep young kids out of foster care.

The Players: The Administration for Children's Services; a handful of foster care preventive agencies serving the Bronx and Brooklyn; therapeutic programs.

How Much: $7.4 million in Fiscal Year 2016.

How Many: The SafeCare and Child-Parent Psychotherapy programs, which have been available on a limited basis, will expand significantly to serve 300 more families with young kids each year. In addition, a number of families with young kids will receive dyadic and trauma-informed therapies.

When:  Families will begin receiving services in the fall of 2015.

During 2014, more than 49,000 New York City children received services designed to keep them out of foster care. Some 20 percent were younger than 4 years old. In the months ahead for the first time, hundreds of such children and their parents will begin receiving a range of supports catered to meet their particular needs.

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Uncertain Funding for Early Childhood Mental Health Programs

What: Dedicated funding for early childhood mental health services.

The Players: The City Council; the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; various city-based mental health service agencies.

How Much: Approximately $1.25 million in Fiscal Year 2016.

How Many: Programs funded under this initiative served more than 4,000 children in Fiscal Year 2015. It is unclear how many programs will be funded, or how many children will be served, in FY16.

When: Ongoing.

The future remains uncertain for a core set of programs providing city-funded mental health services to children under age 5.

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Making Family Court Better for Babies and Toddlers

What: A new pilot project in the Bronx aims to get better services for babies and toddlers in Family Court, and to move cases in which they’re involved more quickly through the system. 

The Players: The Center for Court Innovation (CCI); the Bronx Family Court; the New York State Office of Court Administration; New York City Administration for Children’s Services; The Bronx Defenders; 18B panel attorneys; the Legal Aid Society.

How much: Current funding comes from private foundations and is undisclosed. Projects similar to this one cost CCI approximately $100,000 per year.

How many: To be determined. The project will start by serving children aged 0-3 whose cases come on the docket of a particular Bronx Family Court judge.

When: Starting June 2015, ongoing.

A new pilot program in the Bronx aims to improve the experience of babies and toddlers in Family Court. With new resources and attention, program providers hope to move very young children through the court process more quickly, and to identify services that will help babies and their families thrive.

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