Definition of a Family Partner:The definition of a Family Partner Coordinator and a Family Partner is defined as a parent/caregiver of a child ages 0 to 18 who have received services and therefore has firsthand experience within the child and family system. For further information please see the FAQ page on www.ncfamiliesunited.org. 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.