Medicaid provides reimbursement for peer-to-peer support services for adult mental health consumers as a covered service, but this is not currently done in children’s mental health services. A few states have overcome this with waivers and others have split their services into categories already recognized and supported by their Medicaid plans. For example, while peer-to-peer support may not be covered, family support or education supports might be.
Colorado does not currently provide Medicaid reimbursement for family advocacy as peer support for children’s mental health as a covered service at this time. There are efforts underway to open up this stream of funding in the future for certified family advocates/children’s peer specialists who have the required competencies.
Some communities have a family organization or have family advocates that are available to work with families. Colorado does not have a funding stream directed towards funding family advocacy services. Local communities have individually secured funding for this important service. Local funds and foundations have funded family advocacy services. For example, some of the local sources of funding for family advocacy have included the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Council, S.B. 94 Juvenile Services Committees, and local HB 1451 Collaborative Management Programs. Colorado foundations that have funded family advocacy services include The Colorado Health Foundation, The Denver Foundation, and Jefferson Hall in Jefferson County.