Action Alert, State Policy

Support Health Care for Wisconsin’s Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

SchoolHouse Connection is working with the Wisconsin Association for Homeless and Runaway Services (WAHRS) in support of SB 704 and its companion bill AB 729. These bills would provide the more than 2,000 unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness in Wisconsin with access to independently consent to their own medical, dental, and mental health care, which is critical to their well-being.

Unaccompanied youth, defined as individuals under 18 without a parent or guardian in their lives and experiencing homelessness, often find themselves in this situation due to factors such as poverty, family instability, or dysfunction. Notably, they are not under the care of the child welfare system. Current laws mandating parental consent unfortunately hinder physical and mental health care providers from delivering the necessary treatment to these unaccompanied youth.

Passing SB 704/AB 729 would allow Wisconsin to join 34 other states, including Indiana and Minnesota, that have laws allowing minors experiencing homelessness and on their own to consent to routine care.

Urge your state senator to support SB 704/AB 729 today! 

1. Email your Senator/Representative

Subject: Help Improve Health Care for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

Dear Senator/Representative [Senator’s or Representative’s Last Name],

I am writing to urge your support for SB 704, and its companion bill AB 729. These bills are critical for over 2,000 unaccompanied homeless youth in Wisconsin. These individuals, under 18 and without parental guidance, currently face barriers to essential medical care due to laws requiring parental consent.

SB 704/AB 729 aligns with initiatives in 34 states, including Indiana and Minnesota, allowing homeless minors to consent to their own medical treatment. This change is vital for their health and autonomy.

Your support for SB 704/AB 729 is crucial in providing necessary care to these vulnerable youth. I hope you will consider the positive impact of this legislation.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

2. Share on social media 

Please help amplify our message by sharing this action alert on your social media channels and forwarding it to your network. For your convenience, we’ve provided an advocacy toolkit complete with sample language and a link to graphics to assist in your efforts.

Example post on X:

For Wisconsin’s 2K+ #homeless minors living on their own, parental consent doesn’t exist, but their essential access to medical care must. Urge action on SB 704 and AB 729, allowing unaccompanied minors experiencing homelessness to consent to routine care. Take action! ➡️ bit.ly/3Ub4iHAAccess Advocacy Tookit