Gov. Parson signs bill to help homeless youth access vital health records

4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago Monday, July 13 2020 Jul 13, 2020 Monday, July 13, 2020 1:34:00 PM CDT July 13, 2020 in News
By: Greta Serrin, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Parson signed a child protection bill into law on Monday. The bill includes protecting homeless youth in Missouri.

House Bill 1414 aims to help youth who are homeless in accessing vital health care records.

The key provisions include:

  • Ensuring youth who are homeless have access to a birth certificate for free, have access to health coverage through Medicaid and can seek mental health care
  • Clarifies that a child’s attendance in court hearings should take place when the judge and family support belief it’s in the best interest of the child
  • Creating temporary alternative placement agreements, a mechanism to provide services to parents and family placement to ensure safety of children not brought into foster care
  • Ensuring timely risk assessments within 72 hours of child abuse and neglect reports
  • Ensuring foster parents have access, at the time of placement, to full medical records of a child placed with them
  • Fixing a background check duplication issue for child care providers and allowing for non-expiring child care licenses

“Even in a pandemic-shortened legislative session, the legislature prioritized our most vulnerable children by passing this sweeping child protection bill,” said HB 1414 sponsor Representative Sheila Solon (R-St. Joseph).

The crafting of the legislation was bipartisan, and passed the House 144-3 and the Senate 31-0.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated concerns around the health of everyone, including our homeless youth who are at an elevated risk of mental health issues. This legislation will enable these vulnerable young people to seek supportive mental health services," said Representative Patricia Pike (R-Adrian).

With the signing, the bill’s provisions will take effect on August 28.

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