How the Children's System of Care Advisory Council came to be:
Over the past few years, the Children's Behavioral Health Collaborative has successfully promoted comprehensive state-level policy change. In light of these successes and system-wide improvements, the CBHC's Steering Committee members redesigned the Collaborative's operating structure to be more effective, efficient, and in line with the System of Care values. The System of Care Advisory Council has replaced the CBHC Steering Committee to provide leadership and coordination across the System of Care.
Throughout its history, the Collaborative’s focus has been to build awareness, political will and state leadership to generate the resources and infrastructure needed to support a comprehensive and integrated System of Care that is youth- and family-driven, community-based, and culturally and linguistically competent and trauma informed. The CBHC has also strived to create a network of individuals and agencies that can share ideas and information to break down silos amongst service organizations to ensure the system is working in a coordinated fashion and grounded in the real needs of youth and families.
Toward that end, over the past few years, the Collaborative has been able to successfully promote comprehensive state-level policy changes, including:
· In 2016, the NH Legislature passed Senate Bill 534, which embedded the System of Care approach and values in RSA 135-F. The law requires the State to develop and maintain an integrated and comprehensive service delivery system for children with behavioral health needs.
· RSA 135-F also codified a new government infrastructure and created the Bureau of Children’s Behavioral Health and over time added significantly more staffing capacity within the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the NH Department of Education (DOE), which also houses the Office of Student Wellness.
· The State’s 10-year mental health plan, release in January 2019, includes a focus on children and youth.
· Senate Bill 14, signed into law in 2019, further expands the System of Care and connects it to NH’s other child-serving systems. SB 14 also established a Children's System of Care Advisory Council within state government, which was recently launched to bring partners and stakeholders together to monitor the System’s implementation, identify gaps, and encourage state agencies and community partners to work collaboratively in support of a comprehensive System of Care.
The new operating structure is as follows:
· The System of Care Advisory Council has replaced the CBHC Steering Committee to provide leadership and coordination across the System of Care.
· The Equity and Workforce Development workgroups of the CBHC will continue their work as official subcommittees of the System of Care Advisory Council.
· The ongoing work of policy implementation, systems transformation, stakeholder collaboration, gap identification, etc. will happen via the Children's System of Care Advisory Council, whose membership of more than 100 individuals includes all the current CBHC Steering Committee members and many others.
· The System of Care Advisory Council, with leadership and support from DHHS and DOE, will educate and engage stakeholders and;
· Provide regular stakeholder communication and engagement throughout the year.
· Legislative policy work will be fully managed under New Futures and directed by a newly formed Children’s Behavioral Health Policy Advisory Committee. This Committee was appointed by the outgoing CBHC Steering Committee through an open application process. The Committee is comprised of content experts, providers and individuals with lived experience and will be guided by core System of Care values: youth and family driven, community based, culturally and linguistically competent, and trauma informed.
· The CBHC logo (without the CBHC title) will be used by partners and subcommittees working to advance the System of Care framework for Children’s Behavioral Health.
· Other dimensions of how the current CBHC partners will continue to meet and work together are still in evolution.
For more information on the System of Care, System of Care Advisory Committee, or New Futures’ CBH Policy Advisory Committee, please read the following documents: