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System of Care Core Values

Systems of Care Are:

  1. Family driven and youth guided, with the strengths and needs of the child and family determining the types and mix of services and supports provided.
  2. Community based, with the locus of services as well as system management resting within a supportive, adaptive infrastructure of structures, processes, and relationships at the community level.
  3. Culturally and linguistically competent, with agencies, programs, and services that reflect the cultural, racial, ethnic, and linguistic differences of the populations they serve to facilitate access to and utilization of appropriate services and supports and to eliminate disparities in care.

Cultural and Linguistic Competence: Definition of Cultural Competence

Cultural competence is the integration and transformation of knowledge, behaviors, attitudes and policies that enable policy makers, professionals, caregivers, communities, consumers and families to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. Cultural competence is a developmental process that evolves over an extended period of time. Individuals, organizations and systems are at various levels of awareness, knowledge and skills along the cultural competence continuum. (Cross, et. al, 1989).

Definition of Family-Driven Care

Family-driven means families have a primary decision making role in the care of their own children as well as the policies and procedures governing care for all children in their community, State, tribe, territory and nation. This includes:

  • choosing supports, services, and providers;
  • setting goals;
  • designing and implementing programs;
  • monitoring outcomes; and
  • determining the effectiveness of all efforts to promote the mental health of children and youth.

Guiding Principles of Family-Driven Care

  • Families and youth are given accurate, understandable, and complete information necessary to make choices for improved planning for individual children and their families.
  • Families and youth are organized to collectively use their knowledge and skills as a force for systems transformation.
  • Families and youth embrace the concept of sharing decision-making and responsibility for outcomes with providers.
  • Providers embrace the concept of sharing decision-making authority and responsibility for outcomes with families and youth.
  • Providers take the initiative to change practice from provider-driven to family-driven.
  • Administrators allocate staff, training and support resources to make family-driven practice work at the point where services and supports are delivered to children, youth and families.
  • Families and family-run organizations engage in peer support activities to reduce isolation and strengthen the family voice.
  • Community attitude change efforts focus on removing barriers created by stigma.
  • Communities embrace and value the diverse cultures of their children, youth and families.
  • Everyone who connects with children, youth and families continually advance their cultural and linguistic responsiveness as the population served changes.

Definition of Youth-Guided Care

Youth-Guided. Youth-Guided means that youth are engaged as equal partners in creating systems change in policies and procedures at the individual, community, State and national levels. Applicants are required to develop plans for infusing a youth-guided approach throughout the system of care, including plans for training and supporting youth in positions of leadership and system transformation.

Youth-Guided Individual

  • Youth is engaged in the idea that change is possible in his or her life and the systems that serve them.
  • Youth need to feel safe, cared for, valued, useful and spiritually grounded.
  • The program needs to enable youth to learn and build skills that allow them to function and give back in their daily lives
  • There is a development and practice of leadership and advocacy skills, and a place where equal partnership is valued.
  • Youth are empowered in their planning process from the beginning and have a voice in what will work for them.
  • Youth receive training on how systems operate, their rights, purpose of the system and youth involvement and development opportunities.

Youth-Guided Community

Community partners and stakeholders have:

  • An open minded viewpoint and there are decreased stereotypes about youth.
  • Prioritized youth involvement and input during planning and/or meetings.
  • A desire to involve youth
  • Begun stages of partnership with youth.
  • Begun to use language supporting youth engagement.
  • Taken the youth view and opinion into account.
  • A minimum of one youth partner with experience and/or expertise in the systems represented.
  • Begun to encourage and listen to the views and opinions of the involved youth, rather than minimize their importance.
  • Created open and safe spaces for youth
  • Appropriate incentives are provided to youth. This includes youth participation in the program as well as those who serve on boards or provide training.

Youth-Guided Policy

  • Youth are invited to meetings
  • Training and support is provided for youth on what the meeting is about
  • Youth and board are beginning to understand the role of youth at the policy-making level
  • Youth can speak on their experiences (even if it is not in perfect form) and talk about what’s really going on with young people.
  • Adults value what youth have to say in an advisory capacity.
  • Youth have a role in decision making.
  • Youth have an appointed mentor who is a regular attendee of the meetings and makes sure that the youth feels comfortable to express his or herself and clearly understands the process.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs to talk, please call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

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