Rosie D.
Reforming the Mental Health System in Massachusetts

Parents & Families

 “This decision opens the door for children and parents who are searching for treatment in their homes and communities.”

Lisa A., parent of child diagnosed with SED

 The Rosie D. court ruling means that thousands of Medicaid-eligible children with serious emotional or behavioral needs are entitled to receive home-based mental health services.  A range of new services and supports will be available to help children and adolescents succeed at home and in their communities, and avoid unnecessary hospitalization or residential placements.  Services will be phased in from July - December 2009.



Eligibility:  The Court’s decision applies to children and adolescents under the age of 21 who are eligible for MassHealth (Massachusetts’ Medicaid program); are diagnosed with a serious emotional, behavioral or psychiatric condition meeting the federal definitions of serious emotional disturbance (SED); and are determined to need home-based services.  Click here for detailed information about eligibility criteria.


Home-Based Services:  A well-established behavioral intervention, home-based services are based on a child’s needs and strengths.  These individualized services include mobile crisis intervention and crisis stabilization; in-home behavior services; in-home therapy; therapeutic mentoring; and training and support for families (family partners). Services are planned, developed, and provided by a single care manager, a single care planning team, and a single care plan, as part of intensive care coordination.  Click here for more information on home-based services.


Accessing Home-Based Services:  Children can receive behavioral health screens from primary care physicians during well-child visits or at a parent’s request.  Children can be referred for a mental health assessment and diagnosis by families seeking help, or by health care professionals, mental health providers, school teachers or nurses, or state agency staff.  Children who are diagnosed with SED will receive a comprehensive assessment for home-based services.  An intensive care coordinator will partner with families to assess strengths, identify needs, and select care planning team members, who will recommend, locate and deliver necessary home-based services.  Click here for more information about accessing home-based services.


Understanding the Wraparound Process:  The wraparound process builds on children’s strengths, empowers their families, appreciates their cultures, and “wraps” services around their needs.  This process, and its emphasis on maintaining and strengthening families, will provide the foundation for the planning and delivery of home-based services. Click here for more information about wraparound services.


Training Materials: The Center and the State are offering trainings and presentations to families, providers and advocates to inform them about the new services, when they will be available, and how to access them.  Click here for information about training materials and for a calendar of upcoming events.


Family Resources:  Multiple organizations are located throughout the Commonwealth to assist families in their efforts to obtain appropriate services for their children.  Click here for a listing of organizations providing family resources and supports.  

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