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CalculatorFinancing Strategies to Sustain and Expand Systems of Care


Sustaining and expanding system of care approaches is a goal of many states and localities and meeting this goal requires sustainable financing of services and supports. Yet, many states and localities run into difficulties finding the necessary funding, gaining consensus for using current funding in new ways, and maximizing the use of available federal, state, and local sources of funding. The Georgetown University National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health (TA Center) offers a range of technical assistance expertise and learning opportunities to assist states and localities to finance their expansion efforts.


Financing system of care expansion requires strategic, multi-level partnerships and planning for change. It involves working through collaborative processes, having a clear and consensus vision, recognizing opportunities, marketing from a cost-benefit analysis point of view, and generating leadership for change.

The first change strategy is “Understanding Your State or Local Context.” The social, political and economic environment; the unique structures for administration and service delivery; the services and supports in place and those you want to expand; and the make-up of your workforce are all contextual elements that help define what strategies will likely be effective.

The second change strategy is having a “Change Management Plan” that is grounded in collaborative partnerships to strategically move toward financing reform. This Plan considers urgency for change, your collaborative vision, the make-up of your leadership core team and engagement of stakeholder groups, marketing, creating waves of change, and making it stick.

The third strategy is to “Know the Financing.” This crucial strategy centers on learning how funds are being used currently across systems, which funds could be redirected to support a system of care approach, and what are the federal, state, and local funding sources that can be maximized.

The Georgetown University TA Center helps states and localities think through a strategic approach to financing reform and to operationalize financing initiatives.

Target Audience

Georgetown works with states and localities and SAMHSA System of Care Expansion, Healthy Transitions, and PRTF Demonstration grantees to engage in finance reform initiatives to expand and sustain system of care service delivery approaches.

Products and Impact

Several learning opportunities are available including:

  • Technical assistance from financing and population-centered service delivery specialists
  • The National Conference Call Series that often features webinars by national experts on financing
  • A Medicaid Learning Community, with members from over 20 states, which holds bi-monthly webinars featuring effective state practices
  • Bi-monthly Peer-to-Peer calls with state Children’s Mental Health Directors
  • Information on using Financial Mapping, Readiness for Change, and other tools to inform finance reform initiatives
  • Presentations at conferences nationally

Contact Information

For further information or additional questions, please contact:
Gary Macbeth,
M.S.W., M.Ed.
Senior Policy Associate
National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health
Center for Child and Human Development, Georgetown University