Pennsylvania is integrating five previously discrete SAMHSA-sponsored initiatives to create a comprehensive system of care for families, children, and youth with behavioral health needs from birth to adulthood. Recognizing the value of supporting the whole child, most major child- and family-serving systems in the state have organized themselves at both the state and county levels “to bring together and empower youth partners, family partners, child-serving system partners, and provider partners based on concepts that are sensible, practical, inclusive, cost-effective, and sustainable to integrate the child-serving systems.”
Pennsylvania’s system of care initiatives started with small, community-level efforts. In 2009, the state proposed to expand the application of the system of care framework into a steadily increasing number of its 67 counties for youth, ages 8-18, with serious mental health issues. The state has subsequently secured a series of federal investments to grow the scope of its work, including SS/HS, Project LAUNCH, Healthy Transitions, and Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention. Cumulatively, those initiatives have expanded focus from treatment and support for young people with serious emotional disturbances to universal mental health promotion, prevention, early identification of, and intervention for mental illness.
Through the current integration, these initiatives are becoming mutually reinforcing, identifying and capitalizing on efficiencies, and also creating training, financing, data collection, and continuous quality improvement approaches that support all dimensions of a single, comprehensive system of care.
Vision: That every youth and family will be able to access and navigate a unified network of effective services
and supports that are structured in adherence to system of care values and Principles.
Mission: Youth, family, and system leaders will work as equal and trusted partners in creating sustainable
change which will empower youth, families and all youth-serving systems to be responsible and
accountable for outcomes that lead to the fulfillment of hopes and dreams.
— Pennsylvania System of Care Partnership
For more information, see the Pennsylvania System of Care Partnership website.