A Multi-Agency Approach to Using Medicaid to Meet the Health Needs of Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth
Juvenile justice, mental health, and Medicaid agencies have a common interest in meeting the health needs of youth in the juvenile justice system. However, these three agencies have different, yet overlapping, program objectives, funding sources, target populations, and partners. This situation creates both barriers and opportunities in using these agencies’ resources to meet the health and behavioral health needs of children involved with the juvenile justice system. Improving coordination among state agencies overseeing the juvenile justice, mental health, and Medicaid systems is crucial to improving access to quality health services for juvenile justice-involved youth. Some states are developing mechanisms to plan and implement more coordinated and integrated health services for juvenile justice-involved youth.
The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), with the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is working with the Models for Change grantee organizations and state policy makers to address the health needs of youth in the juvenile justice system. This paper:
- Describes the core concepts of the three state-administered programs with major responsibilities for serving these children juvenile justice, mental health, and Medicaid.
- Highlights both the barriers and opportunities for working across agencies to use Medicaid to meet these children’s health needs, as identified in interviews with stakeholders in five states, including four Models for Change states.
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