Original Paper

Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 275-280

First online:

Measuring System of Care Core Values in a Behavioral Health System of Care

  • Holly P. WaldAffiliated withHPW Associates, LLC Email author 
  • , Cynthia D. ZubritskyAffiliated withCenter for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • , Nancy JaquetteAffiliated withBeaver County Behavioral Health

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The Comprehensive Services for Children and Their Families or System of Care (SOC) is the largest mental health project ever conducted by the US federal government. These programs are based on a value-driven framework that includes: child/youth centered and family driven practice, community-based practice, and culturally competent practice (Stroul and Friedman in A system of care for children and youth with severe emotional disturbances, Georgetown University Child Development Center, CASSP Technical Assistance Center, Washington, DC, 1986). The aim of this study is to determine the extent of the adoption of SOC values by families, system partners, providers and community organizations in a countywide SOC. Using a retrospective design, data was collected through a system-wide survey and focus groups, which asked respondents to rate the presence of SOC core values prior to and four years following its creation. Results suggest that system partners, provider staff, and families are aware of the changes that have occurred within the system as a result of the SOC.


Children’s mental health Systems of care Core values Families