Jefferson County Community Partnership Children Overcoming Problems Everyday (COPE)
Over the past seventeen years, Jefferson County, Alabama, has developed a strong reputation at the state and local level for interagency collaboration and coordination among its child-serving agencies. Led by the Jefferson-Blount-St. Clair Mental Health/Mental Retardation Authority and family representatives, seventeen of these agencies formed the Jefferson County Community Partnership (JCCP) in 1997 and were awarded a $5.9 million dollar grant from SAMHSA/CMHS to develop a seamless system of care for children with a serious emotional disturbance and their families who reside in Jefferson County.
Jefferson County is the state’s largest metropolitan area and includes the city of Birmingham. Established in 1871 at the juncture of two crossing railways, Birmingham quickly developed into a major center for iron, steel and coal production before shifting primarily to a business and service economy in the 1970s with the help of an international research and medical center, the University of Alabama-Birmingham. The racial mix of the city is 52 percent Caucasian, 48 percent African-American while the racial mix of the county is 79 percent Caucasian and 20 percent African-American. Jefferson County’s population also includes Asian, Greek and a growing Hispanic population near the northern and southeastern corners of the county.