System of Care Expansion
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is prioritizing the expansion of systems of care with two major funding opportunities: (1) one-year System of Care (SOC) Expansion Planning Grants intended to support states, tribes, and territories develop a comprehensive strategic plan for expanding the system of care approach to improve and expand services for children and youth with serious emotional disorders and their families; and (2) SOC Expansion Implementation Cooperative Agreements, four-year grants designed to build upon the progress made in developing strategic plans to expand and sustain system of care principles and values and facilitate wide scale adoption and operation of the SOC framework. Along with grant funding, intensive technical assistance is being offered to all cohorts of grantees.
The Georgetown University National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health (TA Center) is collaborating with the TA Network (University of Maryland’s Center for Innovation & Implementation), Vanguard Communications, and the National Indian Child Welfare Association to provide technical assistance and resources to help grantees develop and implement an effective plan and strategies to expand the philosophy, infrastructure, and services of a system of care approach.
Georgetown’s technical assistance activities focus on five core strategies identified through research as being effective in leading to system of care expansion:
- Implementing policy, regulatory, and partnership changes
- Developing or expanding an array of services and supports based on system of care philosophy
- Creating or improving financing strategies
- Implementing workforce development strategies by providing training, technical assistance, and coaching
- Generating support among key stakeholders through strategic communications
A menu of technical assistance activities has been developed and is offered through a range of delivery formats focused on strategic planning processes, grant requirements, priority content areas, and system of care values:
- Georgetown TA Coaches available to provide individualized, intensive, strategic technical assistance through phone, email, and on-site visits
- Content specialists on all aspects of system of care development and implementation
- Monthly webinars on a range of topics
- Opportunities to facilitate peer sharing
- Resource materials on major content areas as well as a guide on strategic planning, a framework and worksheets for planning phases, a logic model and strategic framework for expansion based on core strategies for system of care expansion, and implementation guide among other. Useful tools for expansion are also available including a self-assessment tool for system of care expansion strategies that can be used as a readiness assessment and a diagnostic tool for expansion planning and a rating tool to measure the level of system of care implementationin communities over time that can be used to assess progress. In addition, a document summarizing lessons learned from the first cohort of planning grantees is available to help other jurisdictions to identify effective strategies
The System of Care Expansion Planning and Implementation Grantees funded by SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services’ Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch as well as all states, tribes, territories, and communities interested in expanding their systems of care.
Products and Impact
All products are available on the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development website under Mental Health.
Continuous quality improvement surveys of grantees have shown positive results on the utility, process, and outcomes of the technical assistance provided.
For further information or additional questions, please contact:
James Wotring, M.S.W.
National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health
Center for Child and Human Development, Georgetown University