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Strategic Use of Federal Entitlements: Access to Children’s Mental Health
September 22, 2003

A new report by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law explains which children can obtain what services through the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the federal-state Medicaid program, and offers suggestions for advocates' strategic use of the two statutes to obtain services needed by children with emotional or behavioral disorders. Teaming Up - Using the IDEA and Medicaid to Secure Comprehensive Mental Health Services for Children and Youth, explains the benefits and limitations of the special education and healthcare programs as highlighted by litigation around the country.

Successful cases throughout the country have defined many of the school systems' and Medicaid programs' obligations to children, as illustrated by detailed examples. Through a fictional case, the report also lists steps advocates can take to coordinate Medicaid services and education-related services under the IDEA to best serve a child with behavioral health needs. Teaming Up is available from the link above.

Questions can be directed to Kris Ericson (kris@paproviders.org).

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