System of Care

System of Care (SOC) puts the family at the center of their child’s care and helps to inform the service system on what needs to improve. The System of Care framework understands that families are involved with and supported by other child-serving agencies including schools, juvenile justice, social services, primary care, and community organizations and these organizations can be included in families’ plans for their children’s care.

The following System of Care values guides efforts to increase access to high-quality, integrated behavioral health services for children and families. We work to ensure our child behavioral health services are/include:

  1. Interagency Collaboration
  2. Data Driven and Accountable
  3. Individualized, Strength-Based Approach
  4. Family-driven and Youth-guided
  5. Cultural and Linguistic Responsive
  6. Home and Community-Based Services and Supports
  7. Trauma-informed Care/Evidenced Based Practices

The 3 Key Components of SOC

The SOC The SOC framework is made up of three key components:

  1. a comprehensive array of services and supports,
  2. an infrastructure to fulfill essential functions, and
  3. a clear philosophy intended to guide service delivery for young people and their families.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has received a four-year grant totaling $14.8 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support the mental health of children and families in North Carolina. You can read the press release here.

The North Carolina System of Care Team 
Kristin Jerger - Project Director
Hayley Bayne - Lead Collaborative Coordinator
Stacie Forrest - Child Mental Health Program Consultant
To learn more about System of Care, ask questions, or get connected to your local System of Care Collaborative, please email 

Tab/Accordion Items

NC System of Care and Community Collaboratives

NC System of Care and Community Collaboratives 

North Carolina’s System of Care (NC SOC) Community Collaboratives (CC) are community-based groups comprised of family members, child-serving public agencies, and private providers. CC’s work with families, school systems, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders concerned with the behavioral health of all children in their community. CC’s bring together families and child representatives across diverse sectors to support coordinated service delivery and problem-solve. 

These Collaboratives are supported by SOC Coordinators and Family Leads. SOC Coordinators are LME-MCO staff who support local SOC development in the community. They provide training to facilitate Child and Family Teams, promote family and youth involvement at every level, and provide guidance and support for strategic planning and implementation of collaborative goals. To see which LME-MCO covers your county, click here.

Family Leads include family partner coordinators, family partners, family support advocates, and other caregivers with lived experience who support the family voice and help families navigate the system. Because of their lived experience, they can be particularly effective in engaging family members who want to participate in a Community Collaborative and getting input of family and youth at the systems level. 

In addition to supporting community collaboratives, NC SOC provides a framework through which the State delivers Medicaid and State-funded behavioral health services to all children, youth, and their families.

Additional Information 

NC Collaborative for Children, Youth & Families

To learn more about System of Care, ask questions, or get connected to your local System of Care Collaborative, please email 

Family Partner  

A Family Partner works within the System of Care (SOC) values and principles. The Family Partner ensures the foundation and implementation of SOC Expansion within their region. Core activities of Family Partners include the following: 

  • Articulating lessons learned from their own lived experiences to other parents/caregivers with children and youth with mental/behavioral health challenges.  

  • Understanding the role of collaborations between the family, child/youth, and family-serving systems in promoting positive youth and family outcomes.  

  • Striving to eliminate stigma and discrimination that serve as barriers to the care and well-being of families and youth. 

  • Understanding and agreeing to work within SOC values and principles.   

  • A Family Partner may also be referred to as a “Family Peer Specialist.” 

Youth and Young Adult Peer Support Partners (YYAPSPs) 

Youth and Young Adult Peer Support Partners (YYAPSPs) will adhere to the values and principles of the System of Care (SOC) to develop networks that support youth and young adults (ages 16-25) who are struggling with a Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED). YYAPSPs will develop and provide outreach activities to engage young people, educate community stakeholders, engage referral sources, and serve as a bridge between child and adult-serving systems. The role of YYAPSPs is to support and encourage young adults to come into their own voices as experts in themselves and provide opportunities for youth and young adults to direct their own recovery process. Youth will also become experts in their own histories and cultures and gain skills and confidence to empower them to be change agents within their communities, homes, and schools.

NC Youth and Family Voices Amplified is a statewide program to support Youth and Family Peer Support by addressing the mental health of children, youth, and young adults in North Carolina.   
For more information on NC Youth & Family Voices Amplified, visit their website: 

Child and Family Teams (CFTs) are the basis of care coordination and follow System of Care Principles. Child and Family Teams bring the child/youth and their family members together with the support people in their lives including behavioral health providers, community agencies, advocates, and family friends.    

The CFT creates, implements, and updates a plan built on the strengths of the child, youth and family and addresses their needs, desires, and dreams. Child and Family Team meetings are structured, facilitated meetings that bring together those who are most involved with the child/youth’s care.   

In the behavioral health system, providers often facilitate early CFT meetings until the family or youth assumes the lead. The CFT process helps the family create a plan that reflects specific goals chosen to address their identified needs.  

The CFT acts as a safeguard to make sure services and supports are working, resources are available. If the plan is not working or if different services are needed, the CFT can suggest changes. 

 North Carolina’s child- and family-serving agencies have committed to using CFTs to coordinate care via a jointly signed memorandum of agreement which included the following core principles of CFTs:

  1. Family, children, and youth are full partners. 
  2. Planning is led by the family. 
  3. Meetings are a safe, supportive place for all members. 
  4. Meetings include people who can help the family succeed. 
  5. Plans are built around what families do well and fits with their beliefs. 
  6. Members are committed to the plan and share responsibility for successful outcomes. 
  7. Plans are changed when they are not working for families.

For more information on Child and Family Teams and training go to NC Collaborative for Children, Youth and Families,