By Chandrika Brown, Collaboration Coordinator
The NC Collaborative for Children, Youth, and Families website says System of Care is a comprehensive network of community-based services and supports organized to meet the needs of families involved with multiple child service agencies. Some don’t know that System of Care is not a service or a program – it is a way of working together with youth and families to achieve the desired outcomes identified by the youth and family.
SOC exists because, over the years, experts in their field have discovered that partnering with youth and families around the services they provide results in more positive outcomes for children, youth, and families. SOC is a combination of collaboration, accountability, cultural responsiveness, individualized strength-based approach, child and family partnerships, and community-based services and supports.
Another significant value of SOC from a family’s perspective is hope. SOC gives our families and youth hope. Collaboration is essential in supporting families and youth because families grow tired of repeating their stories to multiple agencies over and over and attending various meetings for different agencies when they could have attended one meeting with everyone involved. Collaboration shows the family and youth that you hear them, their voice is essential, and that you are there to support them as you feel the support is needed.
“System of Care has many great benefits, such as the Child and Family Team meetings. During this component of System of Care, everyone involved in the family’s life is invited to the same meeting, which is a learning opportunity for everyone, including the family. The family learns how systems operate, and agency staff learns more about the family. Together a plan will be created with families leading the process and sharing what they will commit to and what may be some barriers in accomplishing a goal,” shared Family Partner, Teka Dempson.
Hear more from Chandrika below: