History of The PA Care Partnership

The PA Care Partnership employs a System of Care (SOC) approach, providing an organizational framework and philosophy that results in a spectrum of effective, community-based services and supports for youth with complex behavioral health challenges and their families. These services are organized into a coordinated network, build meaningful partnerships with families and youth, and address cultural and linguistic needs to help them function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life.Since 2009, Pennsylvania has received several SAMHSA grants, allowing us to build an infrastructure to implement a statewide SOC approach. This approach serves children, youth, young adults, and their families who need effective community-based services and supports for mental health challenges. Federal funding acts as seed money to identify and improve effective strategies.

The PA Care Partnership aims to bring together and empower youth, families, caregivers, child-serving systems, and provider partners. We focus on the needs of birth to 21-year-olds with complex behavioral health challenges and involvement in the juvenile justice and/or child welfare systems. Our goal is to promote equity and trust among youth, caregivers, child-serving systems, and provider partners based on the individual community’s strengths and culture.

Our Mission

To strengthen the collaboration of the Commonwealth and local efforts in weaving behavioral and mental health supports and services into a seamless system of care for children, youth, and their families.

System of Care Philosophy

A System of Care is a philosophical change in the way government works, emphasizing the equal inclusion of youth and families in decision-making processes as trusted partners. This philosophy is driven by the State Leadership and Management Team (SLMT) and each County Leadership Team (CLT), who are responsible and accountable for outcomes that fulfill the hopes and dreams of youth and families.

A driving force in this philosophy is the utilization of a youth and family services and supports planning process, where youth and family supports are embedded in teams to ensure youth and family voices are expressed and natural supports are identified and engaged. The system of care philosophy and practices are unique based on the function, structure, and culture of each state and county.

Core Values

The PA System of Care is founded on the following core values:

  • Youth-driven
  • Family-driven
  • Home- and Community-based
  • Strength-based & Individualized Practices & Processes
  • Trauma-informed
  • Culturally and Linguistically Competent
  • Connected to Natural Helping Networks
  • Data-driven, Quality and Outcomes-Oriented
  • County Leadership Team and Governance Boards
  • Multi-System Integration
  • Youth and Family Services and Supports Planning Process

Our Approach

We work at the state, county, and individual levels to find effective and efficient strategies that improve outcomes for youth and their families. Our approach is flexible to meet the diverse needs of urban and rural counties, promoting a sound philosophy and practices based on community strengths and culture.

PA Care Partnership's Goal

  • Empowerment: Youth, families, and caregivers are central to the design, implementation, and operation of services and supports.
  • Collaboration: All child-serving system partners collaborate, share resources, and coordinate with each other and with youth and families.
  • Support: Natural supports are valued equally with formal supports.
  • Community Engagement: Communities transform to become welcoming and supportive of all youth, young adults, and families.

Assuring cultural and linguistic competence

Youth Driven

Family Driven

Valuing natural and community supports

Evaluation and continuous quality improvement

Youth and Family Services and Supports Planning Process