Laws and Policies That Promote Systems of Care
The following examples of interagency agreements, statutes, and other policies help government agencies and community organizations address the multiple needs of children and families in their communities. Many of these resources were initially created during the early development of systems of care. Although they may focus primarily on the mental health needs of children, they are adaptable and appropriate for use within all systems of care for families seeking support.
Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program
Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (HHS)
First authorized in 1993 under the Public Health Service Act, Part E, Sections 561-565, this program was reauthorized under the Child Health Act of 2000. The statutory language represents the first time systems of care was stated in Federal law as a service delivery approach. It was also the first time a program directly related to systems of care had its own appropriation and separate line item in the Federal budget. This website provides an in-depth description of the program and the communities involved.
Laws and Policies
Provides information and resources on Federal laws and policies related to child welfare.
State Statutes Addressing Systems of Care
Information Gateway Library Search
Presents full-text excerpts from State statutes that address the implementation of systems of care to serve children, youth, and families involved with child welfare. Due to their breadth and technical merit, the statutes from California, Connecticut, Guam, and Minnesota may be particularly helpful to States or communities interested in establishing or improving a system of care.
Interagency agreements and memoranda of understanding
Intra Departmental Letter of Agreement Between Children, Adults, and Families (CAF) and Office of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS) (PDF - 1377 KB)
Oregon Department of Human Services (2005)
Describes the goal and purpose of the agreement, shared core values, and mutual principles and responsibilities to guide the development of local systems of care and statewide systems change initiatives.
Memorandum of Agreement: Creating a System of Care Approach for Our Children and Their Families in Durham County (PDF - 135 KB)
Durham County (North Carolina) System of Care (2005)
Presents the purpose and scope of the agreement, core values, guiding principles, and shared activities to implement the agreement.
Memorandum of Understanding
Children's Bureau (HHS) User Manual Series (2010)
In Community Partnerships: Improving the Response to Child Maltreatment
Answers frequently asked questions about the development of memoranda of understanding and their role in enhancing services for children and families.
Memorandum of Understanding: A Collaborative Agreement Among the Massachusetts Departments of Social Services and Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, Massachusetts Juvenile Court, and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) (PDF - 63 KB)
Massachusetts Family Recovery Collaborative (2006)
Addresses the development of a system of care for families affected by substance use disorders. The memorandum outlines the roles and responsibilities of the parties as well as parameters for information sharing, communication, problem resolution, and resource allocation.
Multiple Response System and System of Care: Two Policy Reforms Designed to Improve the Child Welfare System (PDF - 569 KB)
Lawrence & Snyder (2009)
Analyzes the policies of two reform initiatives undertaken by the North Carolina Division of Social Services and the ways they work in tandem to support common goals. The document also offers recommendations and resources to policymakers and practitioners interested in developing similar initiatives to improve child welfare practices.
Policy: Systems of Care Toolkit
National Technical Assistance and Evaluation Center for Systems of Care
Defines the role of policy in systems of care; presents activities and resources for four development phases: pre-planning, planning, implementation, and continuous quality improvement; provides examples from the field; and more.
Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division
The mission of Wraparound Milwaukee is to provide cost-effective, comprehensive, and individualized care to children with complex needs and their families in Milwaukee County. Copies of current policies and procedures are posted as a service to care coordination agencies.