What is a Family Partner and SOC Coordinator


Definition of a Family Partner Coordinator and Family Partner:

FAMILY PARTNER COORDINATOR: a youth or adult who has received services or who is a caregiver/parent of someone who has received services and therefore has firsthand experience within the system. The coordinator works within the System of Care (SOC) values and principles.

FAMILY PARTNER: A youth or adult who partners with families and adheres to the SOC values and principles. A family partner has received services or is the caregiver/parent of someone who has received services.



Why Family Partnerships Are Important To The System Of CARE (SOC) Collaborative The North Carolina State Collaborative is a collaborative of family members, public and private child and family serving agencies and community partners that work as an equal team. In 2008 NC Families United worked with Family Members across North Carolina to develop a definition and job description of the position Family Partner. A Family Partner should work hand in hand with the System of Care Coordinator in helping and supporting families.

The North Carolina State Collaborative not only includes family and youth members, the family and youth members are equal partners in all leadership roles in the collaborative. Family and youth members are always co-chairs of state SOC, trainings or presentations. NC Families United members published a white paper in 2006 on the importance of System of CARE and Family involvement. Family partnerships created the North Carolina System of CARE handbook 2006.

Family partnerships are not only key to a functioning SOC but also fully supported by the North Carolina State Collaborative. The goal of System of Care is to help families help their children succeed at home, in school, and in the community. In North Carolina and nation-wide, System of Care is considered the best way of planning, developing and delivering services and support for children and their families. Because children are not little adults, their services must be planned and delivered in ways that fully involve their families, peer groups, neighborhoods, schools and community. To be successful family involvement must take place at every level of decision-making. Collaboration and partnership between families and service providers is the thread that links successful programs, policies and practices.


What is a System of Care Coordinator?

System of Care Coordinators are LME/MCO employees who focus on local system of care development for children, youth and families in need of behavioral health (i.e. mental health and substance abuse) services.

Their primary functions are as follows:

  • supporting the ongoing development of local community collaboratives,
  • promoting youth and family voice at the individual child and family team level, local service management level, regional and state governance levels,
  • engaging in local interagency partnership building, and
  • working across systems to facilitate training and technical assistance opportunities for the providers and public agency field staff who are supporting children/youth with behavioral health needs.


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Why Family Partnerships Are Important To The System Of CARE (SOC) Collaborative

Family partnerships are not only key to a functioning SOC but also fully supported by the North Carolina State Collaborative. The goal of System of Care is to help families help their children succeed at home, in school, and in the community. In North Carolina and nation-wide, System of Care is considered the best way of planning, developing and delivering services and support for children and their families. Because children are not little adults, their services must be planned and delivered in ways that fully involve their families, peer groups, neighborhoods, schools and community. To be successful family involvement must take place at every level of decision-making. Collaboration and partnership between families and service providers is the thread that links successful programs, policies and practices.

Changing The Relationships

North Carolina’s System of Care is fundamentally changing the relationships families have with the service system at every level. Parents now provide services, act as advocates for change, mentor other families, shape programs, create policies and carry out public service agendas. Parents and professionals working collaboratively as partners are now recognized as a best practice. These collaborative partnerships have resulted in measurable and direct positive benefits for families, children and providers.

It is the goal of NC Families United to see that the state of NC has 1000 Family Partners working, volunteering and leading the way in family driven care across North Carolina by 2020. The state collaborative supports this goal and along with NC Families United calls to action all family driven organizations to help the state achieve this goal for Family Partners. The state collaborative and NC Families United will help any Family Partners, family organizations, family-centered provider agencies, state agencies and most of all individual families to grow, mentor, and provide training so that we can sustain and grow the field of Family Partner. The state collaborative will also train and support community collaboratives to grow and support their family and youth voice.

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