Across the country, many states and communities are working to better integrate and coordinate the systems that serve children, youth, and young adults with behavioral health needs and their families by creating comprehensive “systems of care.” The systems of care approach seeks to ensure that all necessary services and supports are available to children and families in their homes and communities, and that care is coordinated, individualized, family-driven, and culturally and linguistically competent.

To support these efforts, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch is funding the National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health (NTTAC). Previously led by the Institution for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work, NTTAC included a partnership of 13 organizations — including the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) — with expertise in systems of care for children. The partnership provided training and technical assistance to SAMHSA systems of care grantees and other state and local agencies seeking to improve children’s behavioral health care.

As an NTTAC core partner, CHCS’ role included:

  • Providing technical assistance to states and communities that are seeking to improve children’s behavioral health care, particularly in the area of psychotropic medication use;
  • Supporting a three-year quality collaborative to improve the appropriate use of psychotropic medication in residential treatment facilities; and
  • Disseminating the findings of the Faces of Medicaid analysis of children’s behavioral health care.