Budget Advocacy

Stay Tuned for updates about our fy 2019 budget advocacy! 

Learn more about the Massachusetts Budget Process here


Overview of the campaign's budget priorities

FRCs/MHAP for Kids

Massachusetts Family Resource Centers (FRCs) are a statewide network of community-based providers offering multi-cultural parenting programs, support groups, early childhood services, information and referral resources and education for families whose children range in age from birth to 18 years of age. 

HLA’s Mental Health Advocacy Program for Kids (MHAP for Kids) improves the health and increases educational success of children with unmet mental health needs at risk for possible or further court involvement, by advocating to improve access to needed mental health services. The MHAP for Kids model puts staff attorneys in FRCs. 

FY 2017 funding level: $9.98M

FY 2018 funding level: $9.73M ($50,000 MHAP 4 Kids earmarked)


Safe and Supportive Schools Pilot: DESE Line Item: #7061-9612

The Safe and Supportive Schools program helps schools across the Commonwealth better address the behavioral health needs of their children. Schools in the program develop safe and supportive school action plans in line with the framework created in the Act Relative to Children's Mental Health, a law enacted by the Legislature in 2008.

FY 2017 funding level: $400K

FY 2018 funding level: $500K


 Adolescent Substance Abuse Screening (SBIRT): DPH Line Items #4590-0250, #4512-0200, #4590-0250.

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a set of tools that helps identify alcohol or drug use and guides follow-up counseling and treatment if a problem exists. With adolescents, SBIRT is an effective prevention and early intervention strategy. Training school nurses, guidance counselors, and other support staff in SBIRT enhances a school’s ability to identify risky substance use, provide a brief intervention, and prevent illness and injury. 

FY 2016 funding level: $1.1M 

FY 2017 funding level: $1.1M 

FY 2018 funding level: $1.1M


Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP) Assessment Language

MCPAP meets a critical need in promoting capacity for behavioral health in primary care at a time when integration efforts brought about health care payment reform are taking shape. For example, MCPAP has been instrumental in helping PCPs meet their legal obligation to perform mental health screenings by providing assistance with diagnosis and treatment planning to the PCPs for more than 98% of the youth in the Commonwealth.

Approximately 50-60% of children served by MCPAP are privately insured. The CMHC urges continuation of language requiring commercial insurers to cover the cost of serving their members.

FY 2017 earmark funding: $3.6M 

FY 2018 earmark funding: $3.7M 


Mental Health Consultations in Child Care Settings: DEEC Line Item #3000-6075

The Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Service Program provides social and emotional development supports and guidance for early education programs serving young children, from age birth to five. The services promote the well-being of all children in a classroom and the specific needs of children with emotional and behavioral challenges.

FY 2016 funding level: $750,000

FY 2017 funding level: $750,000

FY 2018 funding level: $2.5M


Increased Access to Behavioral Health Services: DMH line item 5042-5000

DMH and DEEC have begun a collaborative effort to improve behavioral health services and supports for very young children. In FY 2017 these efforts will bring additional focus to;

  • increasing capabilities within the ECMH consultation network to meet the needs of early child care centers;
  • development of  strategies for identifying children most at risk for mental and behavioral health challenges and intervening earlier (and by extension, reducing the likelihood of their expulsion or suspension from early child care settings)
  • providing training opportunities for pediatricians, Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative providers and other community based professionals who provide behavioral health services to very young children and their families.

FY 2017 funding level: $88.65M

FY 2018 funding level: $91.74M