Systems of Care

A system of care is: A spectrum of effective, community-based services and supports for children and youth with or at risk for mental health or other challenges and their families, that is organized into a coordinated network, builds meaningful partnerships with families and youth, and addresses their cultural and linguistic needs, in order to help them to function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life (Source: Stroul, B., Blau, G., & Friedman, R. (2010)). Systems of Care in Virginia

DBHDS is working with stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategic plan than builds on the system of care work that has already occurred in Virginia in order to implement systems of care statewide. The current focus is to expand that array and capacity of services to assure base level services for children and families statewide. 

The base level services are:

  • Crisis Response Services
  • Case Management and Intensive Care Coordination
  • Psychiatric Services
  • In-Home Services

For a complete list of Virginia’s children’s behavioral health comprehensive service array, please visit the Childrens Behavioral Health Comprehensive Service Array

This toolkit includes information and resources developed to support the widespread expansion of the system of care approach for children, youth, and young adults with mental health challenges and their families. It provides a strategic framework for system of care expansion and guides for strategic planning, implementing expansion strategies, financing, and performance and outcome measurement.
Worksheets and tools for self-assessment and outcome measurement are included.

Click here to download a copy today!

Early Childhood Mental Health Virginia (Birth to Eight) seeks to develop a comprehensive system of care for infant and child mental health serving children birth through age eight and their families/caregivers. For more information, please visit:

Grant recipients now join previous System of Care recipients (total of 47 local jurisdictions) providing specialized services to children with serious emotional and behavioral needs across Virginia


RICHMOND, VA– Today, Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) awarded six community grants to help expand access and continue to improve mental health services and support for children who face serious mental and emotional health issues.  These grants will help children and families involved with the mental health system to cope with crisis, gain resources, and build skills to thrive and become self-sufficient. 

“Improving the lives of children, especially in the areas of mental health, is a major step in building a healthy, thriving adult population,” said Dr. Jack Barber, MD, Interim DBHDS Commissioner.  “Not only will these funds help thousands of children in Virginia but also their families and loved ones.  Better access to mental health treatment can help produce stronger individuals and families for generations to come.”

These grants are part of Virginia’s System of Care Expansion and Sustainability Grant, which is awarded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration through DBHDS.  Over $1 million per year will be made available to six grant sites.  Funding runs through September 30, 2020.  

Grantee Information

Region One- Horizon Behavioral Health, $742,366, serving Amherst County, Appomattox County, Bedford County, Campbell County, City of Lynchburg

Horizon Behavioral Health will increase use of High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW) services and include utilization of Family Support Partners (FSP) and working towards adding Youth Support Partners (YSP).  Horizon will be hiring Regional Task and Family Lead positions to establish and oversee the regional steering committee and to help train and recruit more FSPs.  Horizon seeks to reduce the costs to the localities as the HFW team moves to a more family lead that emphasizes self-sufficiency and sustainability.

Region Three- New River Valley Community Services Board, Blue Ridge Behavioral Health, Mount Rogers Community Services Board, $828,831, serving Roanoke County, City of Roanoke, City of Salem, Botetourt County, Craig County, City of Radford, Giles County, Pulaski County, Smyth County, Carroll County, City of Galax

New River Valley CSB, Blue Ridge, and Mount Rogers CSB will work to expand its existing use of HFW by adding the FSP component that allows for families to have an experienced parent who has navigated the mental health system as a team partner.  The Region Three partnership seeks to have a positive impact on the preservation of children within their own identified family home as opposed to residing in congregate care which is more costly and yields fewer positive outcomes.


Region Five- Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck Community Services Board, $618,817, serving King William County, Richmond County, Middlesex County, Westmoreland County

Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck Community Services Board in partnership with localities will seek to enhance their existing system of care in four underserved counties by forming a steering committee, assessing existing system of care, and developing plans for system improvement.  Additionally, they plan in to increase access to HFW services to youth involved in varying systems including mental health and juvenile justice.  Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck CSB will also partner with the larger DBHDS Region Five through education, collaboration, and coaching to enhance their own regional system of care.


Region Four- United Methodist Family Services, $762,256, serving City of Petersburg, City of Hopewell, Dinwiddie County, Prince George County, Surry County
United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) plans to capitalize on their success in Central Virginia during the previous four years of implementing HFW services by expanding these services to Region One by establishing a Regional Expansion Center which will be involved in peer support provision, youth engagement, community engagement and education, and capacity building funds.  UMFS supports the values of the Systems of Care model and seeks to further connect new partnering localities, supporting model fidelity, and continuing to elevate youth and family voice


Region One- United Methodist Family Services, $746,568, serving Frederick County, Clarke County, Warren County

UMFS in Region One will partner with the Winchester Community Mental Health Center (WCMHC) to expand HFW initiative in region through increased integration of Intensive Care Coordination (ICC) and Family Support Partners (FSP)

Region Five- United Methodist Family Services, $880,409, serving City of Virginia Beach, City of Chesapeake, James City County, City of Poquoson, York County, and City of Williamsburg

UMFS in Region 5 in addition to working on expanding HFW services to model fidelity will seek to establish local youth resources, leadership, and training while making efforts to form a new chapter of Youth MOVE (Youth Motivating Others through Voices of Experience).  Through a partnership with Youth MOVE, UMFS, Project Life, and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), the plan will be to augment youth and family voice in mental health community leadership and provide further support to youth and families who currently navigate their mental health systems.