North Carolina System of Care Network
11 counties, North Carolina
The program’s vision is to support children with complex emotional needs and their families through early identification and easy access to a range of flexible, formal, and informal resources that fit each family’s priorities. The coordinated system emphasizes family and community strengths and assists youth in becoming capable and responsible citizens. Building on existing interagency collaborations, the OPC SOC has adopted the following goals: Redistribute funds, staff, and training efforts among partners to promote, support, and sustain the system of care; Implement all components of the system of care with children and families as full partners; Implement all components of the system of care in a culturally responsive manner; Ensure that all services to children and families are individualized, comprehensive, community based, and integrated with informal resources; Create system-of-care models, policies, and practices that are performance based and developed, tested, and disseminated through a “participatory action research” approach; Manage and disseminate the knowledge attained through system-of-care development to promote public awareness and to support collective learning.
Data from the 2000 census lists the total population of the catchment area as 203,179. Children under 18 years of age represent 21 percent of the population, and 13 percent of all children live below the Federal poverty level. There is a significant increase in the Latino population, particularly in Chatham County. While African-Americans and Latinos represent the primary populations of color in the counties, they also are disproportionately represented in the juvenile justice area system, compared to their White counterparts. The SOC services the counties of Orange, Person and Chatham Counties, which are located in the northeastern portion of the State. Orange County has an age 0–17 population of 17,606, which includes 73 percent White, 16 percent African-American, 6 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Asian and 3 percent mixed race or other. Person County, a rural area, has an age 0–17 population of 8,550. Of these, 62 percent are White, 33 percent are African-American, 3 percent are Hispanic, 0.3 percent are Asian, and approximately 2 percent are classified as mixed race or Other. Chatham County has an age 0–17 population of 11,084 of which 70 percent are White, 19 percent African-American, 14 percent Hispanic, 0.6 percent Asian and 8.3 percent mixed race or Other. The target population served by the grant is youth who have serious emotional disturbance and their families. Eligibility criteria for the grant program are: 5–18 years of age; DSM–IV diagnosis of serious emotional disturbance; a CAFAS score of 60 or above; at risk for out-of-home placement; multi-agency involvement. In total, there are 277 youth receiving service coordination through SOC OPC. Of these, 54 percent are White, 36 percent are African-American, 3 percent are Hispanic, 1 percent are Native American, 2 percent are Asian-American/Pacific Islander, and 5 percent were reported as Other races.