- We signed onto an advocacy letter authored by The Kennedy Forum to the IL Congressional Delegation for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders priorities, recommendations, and appropriations requests for Phase 4 of the COVID-19 Stimulus.
- We signed onto an advocacy letter to Congress authored by the Home Visiting Coalition requesting supports for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting programs during the COVID-19 emergency, such as prioritizing a one-time $100 million appropriation for MIECHV, allowing virtual visits to be considered home visits, and maintaining all funding for and staffing levels of MIECHV programs regardless of potential temporary reductions in enrollment to preserve the existing home visiting infrastructure.
- We advocated with Congresswoman Cheri Bustos’ office at the request of Zero To Three to advocate for $10 million in funding for the SAMHSA Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health grants and also signed onto the organizational letter of support with Zero To Three.
- We signed onto a letter with Healthy Illinois and EverThrive Illinois requesting that Governor Pritzker include $30 million in his upcoming budget proposal to provide health coverage to undocumented immigrants throughout the 12-month postpartum period. The state recently filed the Illinois Continuity of Care and Administrative Simplification 1115 Waiver, which included a proposal to expand Medicaid coverage for from 60-days postpartum to the entire 12-month postpartum period. Expanding coverage from 60-days to 12-months will save lives and will allow moms and birth parents to receive health services throughout the postpartum period. We’re happy that HFS included qualified pregnant women immigrants below the 5-year bar in the 1115 Waiver Proposal, but undocumented immigrants were not included in the expansion. This exclusion is unjust, especially considering our state currently provides coverage through the Moms and Babies program for all income eligible moms regardless of their immigration status through 60-days postpartum.
- We submitted comments to the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on their proposed rules for Public Act 100-105 (the early childhood expulsion legislation.
- We advocated with Senator Durbin’s office in the federal budget appropriations process. Zero To Three asked a handful of state voices to reach out to key Senate offices to remind them that constituents are watching their budget decisions closely. The advocacy was to make sure in this final round of compromise that the Senate accepts the House’s funding level of $10 million for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health grants under the 21st Century Cures Act.
- We submitted comments to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Maternal Child Health Title V Block Grant 2020 Application/2018 Annual Report and the 2020 Illinois Maternal Child Health Title V Block Grant Action Plan.
- We signed onto a letter with the Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives Coalition urging the Governor to pass the Children and Young Adult Mental Health Crisis Act, which was signed into law on August 26th.
- We submitted comments on Housing Action Illinois and Shriver Center’s June 26 Keep Families Together Day of Action to speak out against the Trump administration’s proposed HUD rule that would force families of mixed immigration status to break up to receive HUD housing assistance, to forego the assistance altogether, or face eviction from their homes.
- We submitted 2nd comments on Rule 140 to HFS and JCAR. They were finalized and they unfortunately did not take our recommended suggested language to utilize the DC0-5 crosswalk. We will try to influence the development of any procedure manuals and/or best practice guidance.
- May was Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, May 6th was Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, and May 15th was Trauma-Informed Awareness Day. We participated in advocacy and public awareness events throughout.
- We continued to advocate for I/ECMH funding in the 21st Century Cures Act by submitting letters to Senator Durbin’s office and to members of the Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations in the House and the Senate.
- We submitted 2nd comments on Rule 140 to HFS and JCAR.
- We slipped in support of the Senate and House resolutions to proclaim May 15th Trauma-Informed Awareness Day.
- We slipped in support of SB1316/HB2191, calling to increase reimbursement rates for Early Intervention (EI) providers.
- We slipped in support of HB2154 SA1, the Children and Young Adult Mental Health Crisis Act.
- Signed onto a letter with ZERO TO THREE to advocate for increased funding under the federal 21st Century Cures Act for SAMHSA’s Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Grants in FY20 appropriations. The sign-on letter here was delivered to the offices of Congresswoman DeLauro, Congressman Cole, and Senators Blunt and Murray.
- Submitted public comment to ISBE on the proposed rules to PA100-0105 (early childhood expulsion legislation).
- We submitted comments on the Rules for the Specialized Healthcare Delivery Systems (1115 Waiver) to HFS.
- We submitted comments on the Rules for the Integrated Health Home (IHH) program to HFS.
- Signed onto a joint statement with the US Lactation Consultant Association on the Opposition of the United States to the 2018 World Health Assembly resolution on breastfeeding.
- Made recommendations to the federal Families First Prevention Services Act.
- Signed onto a letter from the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, CLASP, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Defense Fund and others protesting the separation of children from their parents at the U.S. border.
- Submitted comments to the Federal Register opposing the Trump Administration’s proposed rule on changes to Public Charge.
- Signed onto a letter of support sponsored by 2020 Mom and The Preeclampsia Foundation to support the federal Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2017, H.R.1318, and the Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2017, S.1112.
- Submitted comments to the Illinois Department of Human Services on Rule 132, community-based services. Significant progress was made for the birth to five population on Part 132, Rules for the Medicaid Community Mental Health Services Program:
- Language was included to promote “culturally relevant, evidence-based, developmentally appropriate, and trauma-informed mental health programs across the lifespan,”
- Early care and education programs were included as a natural setting for service provision
- And the use of developmentally appropriate diagnostic tools were included: “For clients under age 6, DC 0-5 may be utilized to develop an age appropriate diagnosis, then the crosswalk between the DSM 5/ICD -10/DC 0-5 shall be used to identify which DSM-5/ICD-10 condition will be the main focus of treatment.”