Introduction To Systems Of Care

The system of care model is an organizational philosophy and framework that involves collaboration across agencies, families, and youths for the purpose of improving access and expanding the array of coordinated community-based, culturally and linguistically competent services and supports for children and youth with a serious emotional disturbance and their families. Systems of care engage families and youth in partnership with public and private organizations to design mental health services and supports that are effective, that build on the strengths of individuals, and that address each person's cultural and linguistic needs. A system of care helps children, youth, and families function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life.

If you are a system of care community partner, administrator, clinician, family member or youth, then the following featured publications and resources are for you, whether you are just launching your initiative or deep in the process of advancing your system transformation goals.

  • Overview of Systems of Care
    Resources and “lessons learned from the field” discuss the fundamentals and organizing frameworks for system of care structure, practice, and sustainability.
  • System of Care Values and Principles
    Learn about the foundational significance of system of care values and principles in the system building process.
  • New System of Care Communities
    Information, resources, and events designed specifically for newly-funded system of care communities.

Featured Publications

Building Systems of Care: A Primer (PDF)

Georgetown University Child Development Center, National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health (2002)

Fundamental technical assistance tool for state and local stakeholders engaged in developing systems of care for children with behavioral health disorders and their families.

Systems of Care: A Framework for System Reform in Children's Mental Health (PDF)

Georgetown University Child Development Center, National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health (2002)

Examines system reform in children's mental health and the system of care concept.