The system of care (SOC) approach was first introduced in the mid-1980s to address well-documented problems in mental health systems for children and youth with serious emotional disturbances (SEDs) and their families. These efforts have resulted in significant strides across the United States in addressing youth mental health issues. However, notwithstanding this progress, there is a continuing need to improve SOCs based on environmental changes, changes in health and human service delivery, experience, and data from evaluations and research. As such, an update of the approach was published in 2010. This current document builds on the 2010 update and describes the further evolution of the SOC approach, and presents further updates in the philosophy, infrastructure, services, and supports that comprise the SOC framework.
The Evolution of the System of Care Approach for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Mental Health Conditions and Their Families