Family Driven Care

Family-driven means families have a primary decision making role in the care of their own children as well as the policies and procedures governing care for all children in their community, state, tribe, territory and nation. This includes: Choosing supports, services, and providers; Setting goals; Designing and implementing programs; Monitoring outcomes; Partnering in funding decisions; and determining the effectiveness of all efforts to promote the mental health and well-being of children and youth.

Guiding Principles of Family-Driven Care

  • Families and youth are given accurate, understandable, and complete information necessary to set goals and to make choices for improved planning for individual children and their families.
  • Families and youth, providers and administrators embrace the concept of sharing decision-making and responsibility for outcomes.
  • Families and youth are organized to collectively use their knowledge and skills as a force for systems transformation.
  • Families and family-run organizations engage in peer support activities to reduce isolation, gather and disseminate accurate information, and strengthen the family voice.
  • Families and family-run organizations provide direction for decisions that impact funding for services, treatments, and supports.
  • Providers take the initiative to change practice from provider-driven to family-driven.
  • Administrators allocate staff, training, support and resources to make family-driven practice work at the point where services and supports are delivered to children, youth, and families.
  • Community attitude change efforts focus on removing barriers and discrimination created by stigma.
  • Communities embrace, value, and celebrate the diverse cultures of their children, youth, and families.
  • Everyone who connects with children, youth, and families continually advances their own cultural and linguistic responsiveness as the population served changes.

Principles for Family Involvement

  • Families define themselves and their own culture.
  • Families require culturally competent services and supports reflecting their race, ethnicity, gender orientation, language, socio-economic background, and family structure.
  • Families have their basic needs met.
  • Families have access to information and training.
  • Family identified priorities and concerns drive policy and practice.
  • Families share power to make decisions and responsibility for outcomes.
  • Families and their system partners know their individual strengths, limitations and fears.
  • Families have their own independent organization to speak with a collective voice for system change.
  • Families and their organizations get both respect and protection from their system partners.
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