On June 19, 2021, Judge Richard Stearns issued an opinion in our longstanding children’s mental health case, Rosie D. v. Baker, finding the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in compliance with the court’s 2007 remedial order. As a result, the court terminated the order, leaving the state to manage its children’s mental health system with no further court oversight. CPR had opposed ending the order because hundreds of children are still waiting weeks or months for critical home-based services, in violation of the state’s own timeliness requirements. Many of the services that are available fall below the state’s own professional standards. But as the court and others have noted, the Rosie D. case has made a tremendous difference for youth and children with emotional challenges. More than 25,000 youth each year receive the home-based service created as a result of the remedial order. And hundreds of thousands of children each year receive behavioral health screens from their pediatricians, while tens of thousands receive a comprehensive assessments from mental health providers. As Lisa Lambert, director of the Parents Professional Advocacy League stated: “This IS disappointing. I think that even if it ends here, you have done something for the children, youth and families in this state that no one has ever done, here or elsewhere. We will always be grateful.”
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