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Family-Driven Systems and Services

Family-Driven Focus of the Georgetown TA Center

Georgetown University National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health  (TA Center) in partnership with the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provides assistance to states, tribes, territories, and communities to develop comprehensive service delivery systems for families that are child- and family-driven, relationship-based, culturally and linguistically competent, coordinated, and home and community-based.

The TA Center provides training and technical assistance that promote:

  • Collaboration, change, and transformation of systems and services
  • Strategies to assure a strong family voice in service and policy development
  • The infusion of inclusive mental health services and supports into existing programs and initiatives
  •  The development of a well prepared work force

Working in collaboration with the National Federation  of Families for Children’s Mental Health, the TA Center provides technical assistance  in the implementation  of family- driven principles in policy, systems, and services.

What is Family-Driven?

As defined by the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, family-driven means families have a primary decision making role in the care of their own children as well as in the policies and procedures governing care for all children in their community, state, tribe, territory, and nation.

This includes:

  • Choosing culturally and linguistically competent supports, services, and providers
  • Setting goals and monitoring outcomes
  • Designing, implementing, and evaluating programs
  • Partnering in funding decisions

Why is it Important to be Family-Driven?

  • Families improve the integration of child-serving systems and families to achieve better outcomes for children with behavioral health issues
  • Families tell their story when it can help other families
  • Families support one another as peers with a common background and history rather than experts who have all the answers
  • Families acknowledge that each family’s answers may be different than their own
  • Families take responsibility for clarifying their role as a Peer Support Provider and as a parent/caregiver of a child with behavioral health needs
  • Peer Support Providers build partnerships with other professionals within the child-serving systems involved in the care of children

Who Can Benefit From the Activities of the TA Center?

The TA Center’s services are intended for national, state, and local audiences including policymakers, administrators, researchers, educators, providers, and family and youth organizations.

Contact Information

For further information or additional questions, please contact: Teresa King, Family Resource Specialist, National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health, Center for Child and Human Development, Georgetown University, tk357@georgetown.edu