A governance board, or community leadership team, is a diverse group of key individuals — the community power brokers — who represent the community and work collaboratively to achieve a common goal. A governance board provides decision-making and oversight at the policy level and has legitimacy, authority, and accountability.1 The most effective governance structures also legitimize the voices of family and youth by including them as leaders and decision-makers in the governance mechanism.
System of Care Values
It is important to be sure that the values and principles of system of care are incorporated into the foundation of your community’s governance board.
Systems of care are family-driven and youth-guided; therefore, multiple family and youth representatives should be represented on the governance board and their perspectives integral in all decision-making.
Systems of care are culturally and linguistically competent; therefore the governance board membership should be diverse and representative of all community members (based on race, socioeconomics, etc.).
Systems of care are community-based; therefore, governance should not rest with one agency, but rather leadership should be vested across a variety of community agencies, organizations, providers, and family members. Systems of care strive for collective impact through all aspects of the community.
Pires, S. (1995). Definition of governance. Washington, DC: Human Service Collaborative.