The Child Welfare League of America has signed onto the letter/request by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and other organizations in urging the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to prioritize police-free youth mobile response services that are fully reimbursable under the new Medicaid mobile crisis incentive established in the American Rescue Plan Act.

The letter highlights the state of Connecticut’s model. As explained in the letter, that state’s youth mobile response services are 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, statewide, and serves young people up to the age of 18. When someone under the age of 18 is in crisis, community members, parents, schools, case managers, or the youth or young adult themselves can dial 2-1-1, and the crisis staff will link them to the appropriate mobile crisis provider for their town. Including law enforcement in social crisis and mental health related emergencies can be more dangerous for many young people, especially in communities of color and the Connecticut effort is a strategy to not use law enforcement as a proxy for mental health services within the community. As the letter states, 60 to 75 percent of the youth arrested each year have at least one mental health diagnosis.

The letter is open for sign-ons by national, state, and local organizations through Tuesday, December 14, 2021. CLASP is collecting the sign-ons. Please sign on by Tuesday, December 14, 2021, COB, and please share widely with your partners and networks.

You can review the full letter text here: .