In 2021, the Georgia State Legislature passed House Bill 1013, “The Mental Health Parity Act”. Included in this legislation was the establishment of MATCH (Multi-Agency Treatment for Children) within the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD).
Per this legislation:
The state MATCH team shall be composed of representatives from the Division of Family and Children Services of the Department of Human Services; the Department of Juvenile Justice; the Department of Early Care and Learning; the Department of Public Health; the Department of Community Health; the department; the Department of Education; the Office of the Child Advocate, and the Department of Corrections.
The chairperson of the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council or his or her designee shall serve as the chairperson of the state MATCH team.
The state MATCH team shall facilitate collaboration across state agencies to explore resources and solutions for complex and unmet treatment needs for children in this state and to provide for solutions, including both public and private providers, as necessary.
The state MATCH team will accept referrals from local interagency children's committees throughout Georgia for children with complex treatment needs not met through the resources of their local community and custodians. The state agencies and entities represented on the state MATCH team shall coordinate with each other and take all reasonable steps necessary to provide for collaboration and coordination to facilitate the purpose of the state MATCH team.
Georgia’s children and youth with complex behavioral health challenges, and their families, will receive the services and supports when, where, and how they need them, with attention to cultural and linguistic needs.
When this occurs, Georgia will see a sharp reduction in the number of children and youth with complex behavioral health needs that require state-level attention.
STATE MATCH COMMITTEE: A State Match Committee was appointed by the DBHDD Commissioner to plan and oversee the implementation of MATCH. The Committee is comprised of a representative from each mandated agency (assigned by the Commissioners of those agencies) as well as state and local stakeholders with knowledge, experience, and expertise in meeting the treatment needs of children and youth with complex behavioral health challenges. This Committee serves two primary functions:
- Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of MATCH in meeting the treatment needs of children and youth with complex treatment needs, adjusting the MATCH process as needed.
- Monitor and evaluate the systemic barriers (laws, policies, administrative regulations, practices, etc.) that create barriers to accessing needed and appropriate care in a timely manner, recommending solutions to remove these barriers.
This Committee reports regularly to the DBHDD Commissioner as well as the Behavioral Health Coordination Council.
STATE MATCH CLINICAL TEAM: The State MATCH Clinical Team is comprised of clinicians from the state agencies that serve children and youth with complex behavioral health needs as well as other key stakeholders. The Team is chaired by the MATCH Director at DBHDD and staffed by DBHDD, meeting on a regular basis to review and resolve referrals of children and youth whose complex behavioral treatment needs could not be met at the local level. The Team documents the policies and practices, as well as gaps in the service continuum, that most commonly create barriers to access to needed services by children and youth with complex treatment needs. The State MATCH Clinical Team reports to the State MATCH Committee service barriers and gaps that it identifies.
CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY: The Center for Excellence (COE) analyses data collected by the State MATCH Clinical Team to assist in the identification of service barriers and gaps, as well as evaluates the effectiveness and impact of MATCH. The COE reports its findings to the State MATCH Clinical Team.
Given that MATCH is a component of the State’s safety net, to be eligible for referral to MATCH, a child or youth with complex behavioral health needs must:
- Be insured by Medicaid or Peachcare; or
- Be covered by SSI, or
- Be currently uninsured.
MATCH REFERRAL PROCESS
A flow chart that illustrates the pathway to refer a MATCH-eligible child/youth to the State MATCH Clinical Team can be found .
More information on eligibility and the referral process coming soon. Please note that MATCH referrals are NOT submitted through this website.
IF A CHILD/YOUTH IS IN IMMEDIATE CRISIS, CALL 988–GEORIGA’S SUICIDE & CRISIS HOTLINE.