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NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services

For Those We Serve

Mental Health Services for Children and Family: Transforming Services Through Systems of Care

Children with serious emotional disturbances face challenges in many aspects of their daily lives-at home, in school, in social situations and in the community. Because of this, they need coordinated services and supports from a variety of child-serving agencies as well as natural supports located in their home communities.

Systems of Care

Systems of care (SOC), supported in North Carolina, are coordinated networks of community services and supports that are organized to meet these challenges. The system of care model is not a program; it is a philosophy of how care should be delivered. This approach to services recognizes the importance of family, school and community and promotes each child's full potential by addressing physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural and social needs. An overview of Systems of Care is also available.

Core Values

  • Child-centered, family focused, and family driven;
  • Community-based; and
  • Culturally competent and responsive

Hallmarks of the System of Care Approach

  • The mental health service system is driven by the needs and preferences of the child and family, using a strengths-based perspective.
  • Family involvement is integrated into all aspects of service planning and delivery.
  • Services are built on multi-agency collaboration and grounded in a strong community base.
  • A broad array of services and supports are provided in an individualized, flexible, coordinated manner and emphasize treatment in the least restrictive, most appropriate setting.

Elements of Systems of Care

Find a System of Care Coordinator in your area. (PDF) Ready NC Connect NC