COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 6

January 11, 2008

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Regulations Governing Mental Health Services Transition Plans for Incarcerated Juveniles

 

The purpose of this memorandum is to inform you that the Board of Juvenile Justice has promulgated new regulations governing post release services addressing the mental health, substance abuse or other therapeutic treatment needs of incarcerated juveniles as they transition back into their communities. The requirement for these regulations can be found at 16.1-293.1 of the Code of Virginia which addresses the:

 

planning and provision of post release services for students committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice or placed in a post dispositional detention program and identified as having a recognized mental health, substance abuse or other therapeutic treatment need.

 

16.1-293.1 specifies certain elements that must be included in the mental health services transition process and plan. The plan shall address the juvenile's need for and ability to access medication, medical insurance, disability benefits, mental health services and funding necessary to meet the juvenile's treatment needs. The goal is to ensure implementation and continuity of necessary treatment and services in order to improve short- and long- term outcomes for juvenile offenders.

 

The required contents of the Mental Health Transition Plan shall specify:

 

         The person(s) assigned case management responsibilities for the development and implementation of the mental health transition services plan

         The kinds of substance abuse, mental health or other therapeutic treatment that will be made available

         The provider or providers who will be responsible for delivering each service

         The proposed sources through which the services will be funded

         Any applications for services, insurance, and other financial assistance that must be completed in order for the juvenile to obtain the identified services.

 

The Mental Health Transition Plan is initiated by the juvenile probation or parole officer and prepared through a community-based planning meeting at least 30 days prior to the anticipated release.

 

The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice consulted with the Virginia Department of Education's Office of Student Services, the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, and various other state and local agencies to provide guidance documents for implementation. The handbook for implementation can be found at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/studentsrvcs/MH_regulations.doc and includes the Code reference, the regulations and the format for the Mental Health Transition Plan.

 

Mental Health Transition Plans will be an important part of the re-enrollment planning for those students with mental health needs when they are released from the Department of Juvenile Justice. Each school division should update the names of their re-enrollment coordinators by January 31, 2008. Re-enrollment coordinators will then be sent a packet that includes a copy of the regulations and the handbook for implementation so they can be aware of and familiar with their contents.

 

Questions may be directed to Cynthia Cave, Director of Student Services, at (804) 225-2818 or Cynthia.Cave@doe.virginia.gov

 

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