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Rep. West's law to improve children's health takes effect today

Says House Bill 12 gives families, caregivers tools they need to support children's development
March 19, 2020
Democrat Newsroom

COLUMBUS- State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today announced that House Bill (HB) 12, his bipartisan legislation with state Rep. Don Manning (R-New Middletown) to create the Children’s Behavioral Health Prevention Network Stakeholder Group, officially takes effect after being signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine 90 days ago.

“For too long, we have lacked a coordinated and integrated effort to adequately support our children’s social, behavioral and emotional health,” said West. “This stakeholder group accomplishes that exact purpose, and it will provide Ohio’s families and caregivers with the tools they need to ensure each and every child has the opportunity to thrive, not just survive. Amidst the public health crisis posed by COVID-19, our children’s behavioral health (and that of all Ohioans) in addition to their physical health is more important than ever.”

The stakeholder group will include the Director of the Governor’s Children’s Initiatives, several state agency directors (or their designees) whose agencies are pertinent to the stakeholder group’s mission, and representatives, as chosen by the Director of the Governor’s Children’s Initiatives, from several relevant external groups.

Under the act, the Director of Children’s Initiatives will determine the scope of the group’s inquiry and coordinate the efforts of its members in developing common goals, best practices for behavioral health prevention and a prevention pilot program. The group will also collect data focused on health outcomes as well as race, ethnicity, parental income and education and type of health insurance. At the conclusion of this 18-month process, the group will submit a report containing its recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly.