Ten individual youth represented the interest of a class of thousands of children denied access to the intensive mental health services they needed. After years of negotiations, representatives for the class and the state were able to craft a settlement in T.R. et al. v. Quigley et al. that outlines significant reforms to Washington’s public mental health system for children. Under the agreement, the state commits to develop and provide intensive, individualized mental health services to Medicaid-eligible youth in their homes or communities.

The new program and approach for delivering mental health services created by this advocacy will help thousands of youth with serious mental illness each year avoid  hospitalization, long-term institutionalization in psychiatric facilities, and placements in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. When the Honorable Thomas Zilly reviewed and approved the settlement the parties presented, he described the settlement as “landmark” and stated, “I compliment, again, the lawyers and the parties for working hard to develop and agree to a program that really is an incredible step forward in terms of how to deal with these very difficult, complex issues.”

Case Documents


NPR: Landmark agreement to improve mental health for kids in Washington