Children’s mental health
Systems of care

A system of care is a coordinated network of community-based services and supports designed to meet the challenges of children and youth with serious mental health needs and their families. These partnerships of families, youth, public organizations and private service providers work to more effectively deliver mental health services and supports that build on the strengths of individuals and fully address children’s and youths’ needs. These systems are also developed around the principles of being child-centered, family-driven, strength-based and culturally competent, engaging youth and involving interagency collaboration.

The partners work together to improve accessibility and increase the availability of community-based, culturally and linguistically competent services and supports. A system of care can help children, youth and families function better at home, in school, in the community and other areas of life.

SAMHSA’s Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program provides grants to improve and expand their systems of care to meet the needs of children with serious emotional disturbances and their families. There is currently one active system of care community in northwestern Minnesota and two other graduated communities in Minnesota:

  • Our Children Succeed System of Care Initiative
  • STARS (System Transformation of Area Resources and Services) for Children’s Mental Health
  • PACT for Families Collaborative

  • Related Links

  • Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Young Children and Their Families (PDF)
  • Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Youth in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System in System of Care Communities (PDF) (2010)
  • Children’s Mental Health and Family Services Collaboratives
  • Children’s Mental Health Network
  • Effective Strategies for Expanding the System of Care Approach (PDF) (September 2011)
  • Expanding Systems of Care: Improving the Lives of Children, Youth and Families (PDF)
  • Family Driven Care (PDF) (May 2007)
  • Family Guide to Systems of Care for Children with Mental Health Needs (PDF) (May 2005)
  • Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development – State and Local Systems of Care
  • The Intersect of Health Reform and Systems of Care for Children and Youth with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders and Their Families (PDF) (2011)
  • Making the Case: A Comprehensive Systems Approach for Adolescent Health & Well-Being (PDF) (March 2010)
  • Putting the Pieces Together: Guidebook for Fact-Based Decision Making to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families (PDF) (October 2012)
  • State Issues and Innovations in Creating Integrated Early Learning and Development Systems (PDF) (2011)
  • Successfully Collaborating with the Juvenile Justice System: Benefits, Challenges, and Key Strategies (PDF) (2010)
  • Systems of Care (Child Welfare Information Gateway)
  • Systems of Care (The Institute for Innovation & Implementation)
  • Systems of Care (Technical Assistance Partnership for Child & Family Mental Health)
  • Systems of Care Programs that Serve Youth Involved with the Juvenile Justice System: Funding and Sustainability (PDF) (2010)
  • System of Care Resources (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists)
  • Updating the System of Care Concept and Philosophy (PDF)
  • Working Together to Help Youth Thrive in Schools and Communities (PDF)
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