From an overarching perspective, the system of care approach is established on three interrelated components: philosophy, infrastructure, and services and supports.

The philosophy of a system of care approach is based upon a set of core values and principles that in turn offer the foundation for service systems and the services provided.

The infrastructure of a system of care includes governance structure and processes; financing for a wide range of services and supports; formal and informal partnerships among child-serving agencies, providers, families, and youth; provider networks; and the system’s capacity for planning, evaluation, workforce development, and quality improvement.

The services and supports of a system of care include the specific interventions with children, youth, and families at the service delivery level that are consistent with the system of care values and principles.1

  1. Stroul, B. (2002). Issue Brief. Systems of care: A Framework for System Reform in Children’s Mental Health. Washington, DC: National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development.
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