Lightford010318SPRINGFIELD — Unaccompanied homeless minors, LGBTQ youth, those in need of early intervention for a mental health crisis and minors in conflict with their family could soon receive more help under a measure led by Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that is now in effect.

Minors 12 years and older seeking counseling could soon receive more sessions without having to receive prior consent from a guardian. The proposal allows counselors to continue serving youth in circumstances where seeking parental permission may be detrimental to the youth.

“It’s important for young people to be able to seek the help they need on their own. Telling family about personal issues or trauma can be difficult and may even be dangerous,” Lightford said. “I hope this measure empowers minors to get counseling and benefits someone in need.”

The new law, House Bill 3709, increases the number of counseling visits for minors from five to eight sessions without having to receive prior consent from a guardian. Furthermore, it permits counselors to provide additional sessions under certain conditions, including cases of abuse or neglect.

Category: News

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