Systems of Care in Action
Children and youth with behavioral health needs may use one or more services in their lives. These services include mental health, juvenile justice, child welfare, public health, education, and health care. Families can find it difficult to access more than one of these services. It is even harder to support a child or young person when each service works on its own. Families of children and youth often feel alone and confused when they try to manage supports across these services. Systems of Care is a coordinated network of services and supports that is used to improve quality of life outcomes for children and youth by making sure services are designed to work together. The Systems of Care approach makes sure supports are coordinated and are family and community centered. An important goal of Systems of Care is to create a plan as a community. Systems of Care Teams find and fill in gaps in the supports that might make it harder to support children. Values that drive systems of care include shaping supports to meet the needs of each child. Families and children are placed in a lead role in deciding what they need to make life better for them. The process helps make sure the strengths of each child and his or her family is used to create support plans and the culture of each home is given honor and respect.