Family Partners





Family-driven means that families have a primary decision-making role in the care of their own children as well as in the policies and procedures governing the care for all children in their counties, in their communities, and in the state.

Systems will work in partnership with families so that the System of Care value of “family-driven” can be realized even within the context of delinquency and/or dependency proceedings. This includes:

1. Choosing culturally and linguistically competent, supports, services, and providers

2. Setting goals

3. Designing, implementing and evaluating programs

4. Monitoring outcomes

5. Partnering in funding decisions

6. Determining the effectiveness of all efforts to promote the mental & behavioral health of youth & families.


  • A minimum of 25% of the County Leadership Team is family members, who share equal responsibility with youth members and system partners.
  •  County Leadership Teams ensure that family members are prepared, trained, supported, and valued.
  •  The county has mechanisms in place to provide assistance for family participation in events such as stipends, transportation, travel reimbursement, and child care.
  •  All county child-serving systems are accountable to youth and families that are receiving services.
  •  Families have multiple opportunities in the county to provide leadership, support, and advocacy.
  •  Peer support is available to families in the county in order to improve youth and family outcomes.
  •  Families have access to information and skill-building training in the county to help make informed decisions for their family.
  •  Families and systems in the county have shared the responsibility to ensure informed decision-making.
  •  Families have a primary decision-making role in the county regarding their youth’s and family’s care and overall wellbeing.
  •  Family members in the county have access to a family organization that supports family involvement at the system and service-delivery levels.


Family Involvement Specialists

Dianna Brocious
Family Involvement Specialist
Contact Dianna using the Contact Us form

Dianna and her husband are the parents of two children.  Their children were adopted in 1986 from a different culture, difficult circumstances, and unstable living environments.  As the understanding and knowledge of trauma, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury were little known Dianna spent much time researching the fields in the United States and Canada to comprehend the depth of damage to her children and to share that information with the clinical team that worked with her family. Dianna’s experience in the field of children’s mental health includes working for PA Families, Inc. for approximately ten years, volunteering as a parent advocate in the education system, in managed care meetings and other child-serving systems.  She has served on many committees in the fields of child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, early childhood mental health, pediatric medical home, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder as well as others.  Dianna’s personal experience raising children with special needs has given her the knowledge to bring authentic family voice to both county and state boards such as the  Armstrong Indiana Behavioral Health and  Developmental Program Advisory Board (formerly MH/MR) and the Family Resource Network in Armstrong County a former Collaborative Board and the former State Collaborative Board.  She has also been a facilitator for Family Group Decision Making (FGDM).  Dianna currently serves on the Executive Committee for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, the PA Medical Home Initiative, the Value Behavioral Health Family Advisory Committee, the OMHSAS Planning Council Children's Committee, and the CCBHC Steering Committee.  Dianna is a certified trainer for Team Up for Families curriculum.  Now, as a grandparent, she and her husband are raising their oldest granddaughter who has special needs. They enjoy living in a county rich with rural, Appalachian and Amish cultures.

Crystal Karenchak

Family Involvement Specialist

Contact Crystal using the Contact Us form

Crystal and her family have a long history of multi-system involvement including Mental Health, Juvenile Justice, adult criminal justice, education and Drug and Alcohol. She began her advocacy work for her own family and then for others in the 1980’s. Crystal has worked with youth and adults in group home settings, as a counselor advocate for sexual assault domestic violence and other serious crime victims. She retained her credentialing as a Victim Advocate through the Coalition of PA Crime Victims Organizations’ (COPCVO) till 2008. She partnered with the founding youth leaders of Rallying Youth Organized Together (RYOT) Against Rape helping to create the training manual for this youth-adult partnership. Crystal graduated from the PA Victim Assistance Academy through Scranton University where she won the George Award, provided the voice of victims for Project Point of Light team, a sex offender treatment program. Her training talent includes NAMI’s Family to Family training, being a STOP Grant trainer to provide training to advocates, police, other systems and the community on Rape Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Family Group Decision Making, Family Involvement in PA Juvenile Justice System, and is a certified trainer for Team Up for Families Roadmap since 2014. Crystal’s professional and community affiliations include NAMI, Roadmap National Collaborative, National Family Dialogue, National Family Council, 302 delegates for Elk and Cameron Counties. She has served in a multitude of leadership roles including on the: PA Coalition Against Rape, PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence Statewide Board, Elk County Systems of Care, a key leader in Elk County Communities that Care, Elk County Family Resource Network , Elk and McKean counties Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services Board of Directors, Elk and Cameron County Child Death Review, Children and Youth MDT Multi-Disciplinary  team, Elk County Integrated, Children’s Service Review, Child Welfare Resource Center Diversity Task Force, Family Committee for Juvenile Justice, OMHSAS Children’s Advisory Committee, and Youth and Family Training Institute Advisory Board.


What do we provide for families and counties:

Provide Technical Assistance

About family involvement within the PA System of Care Eight Standards:

  1. County Leadership Teams
  2. Youth Driven
  3. Family Driven
  4. Integration of Child-Serving Systems
  5. Natural and Community Supports
  6. Cultural and Linguistic Competence
  7. Youth and Family Services and Supports Planning Process
  8. Evaluation and Continuous Quality Improvement
  • Through bi-monthly County Leadership Team  Family Partner Conference Calls
  • Through building Support Systems for families
  • Through recruiting and retaining  families
  • Providing child-serving system information


 Provide Training

  • Team Up For Your Family (6- hour course with manual)
  • Breaking Down A Complicated Problem Into Tasks A Family Can Handle/Tool
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (8-hour course with manual)


Specialized training for families in meetings

  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Active Listening
  • Facilitation
  • Agenda Setting
  • Family Driven/ equal partnership with Youth and Systems
  • Develop other family trainings upon request

For a flyer about the Family Involvement Specialist click here