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February 1, 2024

Missouri Selected to Participate in Children’s Behavioral Health State Policy Learning Lab Next Week

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Missouri is 1 of 9 states that have been selected to participate in the Health Management Associates (HMA) Children’s Behavioral Health State Policy Learning Lab in Baltimore, Maryland.

HMA in partnership with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), National Association of State Medicaid Directors and the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) have been exploring the opportunity of a shared state learning lab. With the addition of support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs, and other funders including Health Management Associates and Centene, they were able to finalize plans for an in-person State Policy Learning Lab.

The Learning Lab brings together state interagency teams that work in the areas of child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, Medicaid, and K-12 public education to collectively learn, collaborate, and address challenges within these systems. Policy Lab objectives are to support state teams to co-create an actionable road map related to:

  • Cross sectoral governance around children's behavioral health
  • Identifying multisectoral financing strategies
  • A plan to expand service array for children's behavioral health in their state in partnership with participating agencies

“The Department of Social Services (DSS) is excited, and honored, to be one of few states chosen to participate in this learning lab,” DSS Director Robert Knodell said. “We look forward to learning from other states and organizations while being able to share our expertise and experiences.”

Representatives from the Missouri Department of Social Services, Missouri Department of Mental Health, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Missouri Juvenile Justice Association will participate in the State Policy Learning Lab next week.

The mission of the Department of Social Services is to empower Missourians to live safe, healthy, and productive lives.


Media Contact

Baylee Watts