In 2016, with much input from the Children's Behavioral Health Collaborative, New Hampshire put into place a law which required the State to develop a comprehensive system of care for children with behavioral health needs. As an important piece of the law, the State must produce annual reports on their progress towards an integrated system of care. In December 2016, the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services released their first progress report. In the first year of the law, much work was done to assess New Hampshire's current children's behavioral health system. Some highlights of the report include:
- Over $100 million of expenditures towards child behavioral health services were identified in New Hampshire, highlighting the fact that many of these services are more intensive treatment and intervention efforts and very few funds go towards preventative practices, which would help more families and reduce costs in the long term.
- Some of the work done to align services with a system of care has been grant funded, and therefore the sustainability of funding must be examinded.
- Much of our children's behvioral health system remains fragmented and uncoordinated, and the important and necessary cross-departmental coordination has just begun.
- A system of care approach is evident in the FAST Forward program.
- Going forward, shared or blended resources and funding among children's behavioral health programs and services can help keep children and youth from moving into more costly and ineffective service systems such as psychiatric hospitalizations, out-of-home placements, and court involvement.