State Rep. Kifowit appointed chair of state youth mental health task force

State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, has been appointed chair of the Holistic Mental Health Care for Youth in Care Task Force. The task force was established by legislation Kifowit successfully passed in 2022.

“This task force represents a vital opportunity to address the mental health challenges faced by youth in care and ensure they receive the comprehensive support they need,” Kifowit said in a news release from her office. “By drawing on real-world experiences and collaborating with key stakeholders, we can develop policies and recommendations that have a meaningful impact on the lives of our most vulnerable youth.”

The Holistic Mental Health Care for Youth in Care Task Force will meet quarterly – the first meeting was set for April 3 – and submit reports to the governor and General Assembly detailing its findings and recommendations, according to the release.

The task force is composed of stakeholders including representatives from government agencies and advocacy organizations. Its primary focus is to review and recommend improvements to mental health and wellness services provided to youth in care, with a specific emphasis on implementing holistic mental health programs within 30 days of a youth’s placement in foster care, according to the release.

Other members of the task force are: Erin Alexander from the Department of Children and Family Services; Marc Fagan, representative from the managed care entity managing the Youth Care program; Kristine Herman from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services; state Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Lake Forest; state Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton; state Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy; Antwan Turpeau, former Youth in Care appointed by the Governor; and Dana Weiner from the Office of the Governor.

This session, Kifowit is working to pass HB 5269, which seeks to mandate the assignment of a mental health provider to every child in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services, a measure designed to enhance prevention efforts and support for foster youth. HB 5269 has passed the Adoption & Child Welfare Committee and was sent to the full house for consideration, according to the release.

More details about the task force can be found at

For more information on Kifowit, contact her office at 630-585-1308 or email