Children’s Rights to Effective Mental Health Care for Education: A View of the Interface Between Law, Health and Organizational Change
Richard J. Behenna, MPH
The Hawaii Public Health Association joined sixteen other organizational plaintiffs and seven individual plaintiffs in a Federal class-action suit against the State of Hawaii. In 1994, a resulting and broad consent decree obligated the State to provide appropriate education, including mental health services to eligible children under the Individuals with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The consent decree suggested that "fundamental change" would need to occur. To date, approximately four times as many children have been identified who need help, the range of services has expanded greatly and families of the children are increasingly involved. Recent monitoring data suggests improved outcomes for children and that systemic change is occurring within both the Departments of Education and Health. This workshop will address various strategies utilized to improve services for these children and assess the impact of these strategies on the children, their families and the government systems serving them.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to: 1. Recognize the multiple strategies utilized in a significant mental health/education class-action lawsuit in Hawaii (Felix v. Cayetano) 2. Assess the relative impacts (positive and negative) of the employed strategies which include legal, health, education and budget advocacy efforts as well as the application of outcome measurement. 3. Be better able to assess the application of these strategies to issues in their own communities
Keywords: Children With Special Needs, Advocacy
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA