“If We’re Going to Change Things, It Has to Be Systemic:” Systems Change in Children's Mental Health

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Sneak peak at an upcoming article in the American Journal of Community Psychology by Sharon Hodges, Kathleen Ferreira and Nathaniel Israel!

Communities that undertake systems change in accordance with the system of care philosophy commit to creating new systems entities for children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance. These new entities are values-based, voluntary, and cross-agency alliances that include formal child-serving entities, youth, and families.

This paper explores the concept of "systemic" in the context of systems of care. Systems theory is used to understand strategies of purposeful systems change undertaken by stakeholders in established system of care communities. The paper presents a conceptual model of systems change for systems of care that is grounded in data from a national study of system of care implementation. The model is based on Soft Systems Methodology, an application of systems theory developed to facilitate practical action around systems change in human systems. The implications of these findings to real world actions associated with systems change in systems of care are discussed.

Read the advance online publication here


  1. Mario Hernandez's avatar
    Mario Hernandez
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    Great paper that has applied the science of qualitative inquiry and theory. Important addition to the scientific literature on systems of care.
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