HB 16-1242 (Hamner/Lambert) A Supplemental Appropriation to CDHS
This legislation includes additional funding for the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), including the use of federal funding to double the number of Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists working in Colorado from 17 to 34.
The Children’s Campaign strongly supports this bill. Colorado currently has only 17 Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists to support more than 400,000 children under the age of 6 who live in our state. As a result, existing specialists can only respond to a fraction of the referrals they receive. Parents and providers often find that they do not have the tools to respond to challenging behavior. This frequently leaves educators choosing to suspend or expel children from early care and learning settings. Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists can support parents and educators in implementing prevention-oriented strategies.
Passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support.
February 12, 2016
Approved by the House this week and now heads to the Senate.