Melissa Rock, our Birth to Three Strategic Initiative Director, supports the following bills:
HB548/SB299-Human Services-Trauma-Informed Care-Commission and Training- creates a Commission on Trauma-Informed Care which is an important step towards shifting Maryland’s agencies towards trauma-informed care. This approach improves the quality of services; reduces youth involvement with the child welfare and youth justice systems; protects children and families who have experienced trauma; continues access to appropriate care, and improves outcomes.
HB551-Maryland Medical Assistance Program and Health Insurance- Coverage and Reimbursement of Telehealth Services- expands access for Medicaid recipients to telehealth medical and behavioral health services. The bill keeps the telehealth expansions adopted since the beginning of the pandemic. Telehealth options eliminate many access barriers including transportation, travel time, and childcare.
HB636-School Buildings - Drinking Water Outlets - Elevated Level of Lead (Safe School Drinking Water Act)- eradicates exposure to lead in drinking water which impairs brain development and impedes social emotional development which negatively impacts the youth’s ability to learn, regulate emotions, and control behavior.
HB134-Business Regulation - Flavored Tobacco Products - Prohibition- bans flavored tobacco products and helps to reverse the trend of tobacco usage among children.
HB771/SB548- Public Schools - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Surveys - Revisions- ensures that all nationally validated questions regarding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Positive Childhood Experiences are included in Maryland’s YRBS.
HB 776-State Department of Education - Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Project- Study and Report- requires a study of Maryland’s ECMHC Program be completed by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Maryland’s Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) Program is a resource that early childhood providers can access (including family- and center-based day cares as well as Early Head Start and Head Start) when a child displays extreme behavior. A mental health consultant assesses whether referrals should be made for the child to receive social emotional supports, or if changes by the childcare provider could correct the behavior. This program is critical, especially given the significant toll the COVID-19 pandemic is having on children’s behavioral health.
For more information regarding our legislative agenda, click here.