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.

The North Carolina State Collaborative has not only included family members have taken strong leadership roles in the collaborative. At present three NC Families United members regularly attend the State Collaborative meetings. One of the family members is the Co-Chair of the State Collaborative. The other two family members are often strong advocates for family voice and take on leadership roles on various State Collaborative Sub Committees. Family members are always co leaders 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.

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.

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 we have 1000 Family Partners working, volunteering and leading the way in family driven care across North Carolina. NC Families United calls to action all family driven organizations to help the state of North Carolina achieve 1000 Family Partners. 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 provide training so that we can sustain and grow the field of Family Partner.

Family Partner Jobs

Passion → Effective Action Peer Support for Families

In order to improve outcomes for positive family success and to prove the value of peer support the following definition and job descriptions have been developed.

Recommended Definition for Family Partners by Family Partners

Adopted Thursday May 22, 2008

Definition of who is a Family Partner:

Since January 2008, North Carolina Families United, NFFCMH has facilitated Family Partner Development meetings. All Family Partners who have participated in NC System of Care trainings across the state and who work within the values and principles of the System of Care philosophy were invited to participate in the development meetings. In order to insure consistency and validation of the profession a statewide recommended job description was developed and adopted by attendees. It should be noted that the definition of Family Partner Coordinator and Family Partner is defined as a caregiver/parent of someone who has received services and therefore has firsthand experience within the child and family system, or who has gone through the system themselves. The authors of this document recognize the legitimacy and value of many individuals who have not had firsthand experience within their own personal lives who are working with families and advocating for families in a similar fashion. In order to emphasize the belief that family firsthand experience is the best practice in helping other families navigate the system and to clarify any miscommunication of the title Family Partner Coordinator and Family Partner it is strongly recommended that other individuals doing the same work are recognized yet hold a title of Family Advocate, Family Support Partner or other title their organization deems appropriate. This process will allow families the opportunity to choose the people who best meet their needs.