Families are at the heart of the system of care approach. Supporting strong family relationships is the key to child-serving systems that work well. It is the parents, guardians, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and so many other people who make up a child’s family and as such know, love, and support them in a way that caring professionals just cannot. The insights of these individuals need to be front and center in every aspect of a system of care — including policy making, program design, service delivery, quality improvement, and workforce development. If there are professionals coming together to discuss services and supports for children and youth, then families should be there as well to drive the process. Texas System of Care supports a number of initiatives to strengthen the impact of family voice within the state.
How We Support
Family Leadership Development
Texas System of Care invests in the leadership skills of family members. This investment can take many forms, including hosting leadership trainings, mentoring by experienced family leaders, and support for the creation of products and tools for family leaders to share lessons with other family leaders.
Download the Amplify Your Voice: Advancing Your Skills as a Family Leader workbook.
A Family Partner is a parent or guardian who has lived experience raising a child with mental, emotional, or behavioral health challenges. Family Partners use their lived experience for the purpose of education, role modeling, and providing hope as it relates to the recovery process. Texas System of Care promotes the inclusion of Family Partners in the workforce, integrated within all child-serving systems. Texas System of Care provides technical assistance on the recruitment, hiring, supervision, and retention of Family Partners and works to enhance policy and financing support for this workforce.
Family Voice in System of Care Communities
To ensure families are driving decision-making about the local system of care, families should be critical members on governance boards, advisory boards, and workgroups. Families should be active participants in decisions about programs, hiring, financing, and evaluation. Texas System of Care helps communities to identify families to fill these roles and supports families and other leaders to engage in genuine partnership and collaboration.
Family Voice in State-Level Collaborations
Texas System of Care also works with state agencies and organizations to engage family members in decision-making roles. This includes promoting the value of hiring family members with lived experience in key roles in organizations, engaging families on advisory committees and workgroups, and seeking meaningful input from families involved in child-serving systems.
Texas Family Voice Network
Texas System of Care supports the development and sustainability of the Texas Family Voice Network (TxFVN), an organization comprised of family leaders from across the state. TxFVN strives to be informed change agents recognizing that families are powerful when united in a common goal. TxFVN members serve in an advisory role to Texas System of Care and provide guidance on state initiatives that impact children’s mental health.
Interested in joining the Texas Family Voice Network? Learn more.