HB 1874 establishes the Adolescent Behavioral Health Care Access Act.
This bill defines an “adolescent” as a minor aged 13 or older by amending RCW 71.34.500.
Parents of adolescents are authorized to admit a child to an evaluation and treatment center for
inpatient mental health or substance use disorder treatment without the consent of the adolescent
if the professional person agrees that there is a need for that level of treatment. The treatment team must convene a treatment review at least every 30 days after this admission.
Also amends RCW to expand the definition of “chemical dependency professional” to include a person certified as a chemical dependency professional trainee under the direct supervision of a certified chemical dependency professional. The definition for “mental health professional” is also expanded to include a provider from a licensed community mental health agency under the direction of a licensed mental health professional.
Another amendment includes the addition of legal guardians and kinship caregivers. RCW 71.34.530 is amended to include that parents of adolescents may request and receive medically necessary outpatient mental health treatment or substance use disorder treatment without the consent of the adolescent for:
- as many as 12 out-patient sessions; or
- three months of outpatient treatment.
Regarding confidentiality, a new section is added to RCW 71.34 to detail treatment information that may be disclosed to the parent/legal guardian without the consent of the adolescent. However, the mental health professional must provide notice of the disclosure to the adolescent, and shall document any objections.
Finally, amends RCW 74.13.280 to allow DCYF to share specific mental health treatment records with care providers, regardless of the adolescents’ consent. Care provider is defined as a person with whom a child is placed in out-of-home care, or a designated official for a group care facility licensed by the department.