Idaho Statutes

16-2402.  Legislative purposes. (1) It is the policy of the legislature and the state of Idaho that services for children with serious emotional disturbance should be planned and implemented to maximize the support of the family’s ability to provide adequate safety and well-being for the child at home. If the child cannot receive adequate services within the family home to maintain individual safety and well-being, community resources shall be provided to minimize the need for institutional or other residential placement. The legislature finds that family involvement and participation in the child’s treatment planning and implementation is vital to successful intervention for children with serious emotional disturbance.
(2)  Services to address mental health needs are one part of a broad array of services which should be available to Idaho’s children with special needs. Such services shall maximize the preservation of the family, by coordination and collaboration of services with schools and community. The department of health and welfare, the department of education, the department of juvenile corrections, school districts, counties and any other appropriate entities, shall cooperate and collaborate in planning, developing and providing services, and shall consult with counties and private providers of mental health services.
(3)  Services shall be individually planned to meet the unique needs of each child and family. Such planning shall include the parent, guardian or surrogate parent(s) of each child. The continuum of services shall include, but not be limited to, individual and family counseling, crisis intervention services, day treatment, respite care, therapeutic foster homes, family support services, residential treatment and inpatient services. These services shall be available to meet the needs of Idaho’s children with serious emotional disturbance or mental illness and their families. Services shall be provided without requiring that parents relinquish custody of the child.
(4)  This chapter is intended to achieve, and shall be construed to promote, these legislative purposes:
(a)  To empower families of children with serious emotional disturbance to determine their own needs and to make decisions and choices, concerning them;
(b)  To give families of children with serious emotional disturbance the support they need, to maintain a stable, nurturing home environment for the children, and to respond to the needs of the entire family, without requiring families to accept services that they do not desire or seek;
(c)  To utilize out-of-home placement only after families are provided supportive services and those services are inadequate to provide a reasonable level of safety and well-being for the child and family, or when an emergency exists which requires immediate intervention. Any placement of a child out of home shall follow the principles of least restrictive alternative placement as defined in this chapter and shall be for the shortest period of time necessary to provide for the safety and well-being of the child and family;
(d)  To plan, develop, deliver, and evaluate services for children with serious emotional disturbance in an efficient, coordinated and collaborative statewide system, of individualized services;
(e)  To provide services in settings that are close to the patterns and norms of society and sensitive to the regional, cultural, and ethnic characteristics of Idaho’s families and communities;
(f)  To provide services for families as close to their home communities as possible and to promote integration of families into their communities;
(g)  To make use of the capacities of local communities to complement existing public and private community resources, including natural and informal supports provided by family and friends;
(h)  To give priority to planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating children’s mental health services to prevent, ameliorate, or reduce the impact of serious emotional disturbance on families;
(i)  To assist all state and local public and private agencies and service providers to provide appropriate, flexible, and cost-effective home and community-based services for families;
(j)  All state agencies providing services to children with serious emotional disturbances prior to the passage of this chapter shall maintain their existing level of services to this population.
(5)  All department and private providers acting under this chapter shall:
(a)  Identify and coordinate all available resources, both formal and informal, public and private, so that the needs of families can be met and their strengths can be applied;
(b)  Include participation of families with children with serious emotional disturbance in all phases of planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating the programs that affect them;
(c)  Be flexible, so that families will have power to decide what services to use, how to use them, and how often to use them;
(d)  Apply a family centered approach in working with families;
(e)  Respect a family’s method of problem solving and their preferred methods of communication;
(f)  Be sensitive to families’ social, economic, physical and other environments;
(g)  Disseminate information so that eligible families will know of the availability of services;
(h)  Provide services in a manner to ensure uninterrupted and consistent availability of services between children’s and adult services when the child reaches the age of majority;
(i)  Refrain from any discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or disabling condition in the employment of individuals, and in providing services.

[16-2402, added 1997, ch. 404, sec. 1, p. 1282.]

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