County Family and Children First Councils provide a formalized venue to facilitate the alignment of systems, policies, resources, and services with and for children and families.

Family Councils coordinate systems on two levels. On the first level the Council develops a County Service Coordination Mechanism to serve as the guiding document for coordination of services in the county for families with children with multiple needs.  On the second level the Family Council effectively aligns systems and resources to meet the needs of children and families in the communities.

The Service Coordination Mechanism conveys the vision for a system that provides a comprehensive and individualized set of supports and services; involves partnerships between professionals and parents in all phases of service planning and delivery and system development; builds on strengths of children and families as well as needs; and responds effectively to the diversity of our population of children and families.

Service Coordination emphasizes a system of care which includes:

  • Collaboration across agencies at policy, management and service levels
  • Partnership with families
  • Cultural and linguistic competence
  • Blended, braided, or coordinated financing
  • Shared governance and liability across systems and with families
  • Shared outcomes across systems, reflecting community values
  • Organized pathway to services and supports
  • Interagency/family services planning and monitoring teams

The Individual Family Service Coordination Plan meeting process is intended to develop a creative, strengths-based, family-centered plan for wrapping the necessary services around a child and family allowing them to succeed in the community-based settings that are least restrictive whenever possible, or to determine the appropriate out-of-home services that will lead to successful reunification.