Many children and youth in the child welfare system and those at risk of abuse and neglect have a variety of physical, mental, social, emotional, educational, and developmental needs. Child welfare professionals have worked with their counterparts in other agencies for years to piece together the services available for these children and youth and their families.
Systems of care is a service delivery approach that builds partnerships to create a broad, integrated process for meeting families' multiple needs. This approach is based on the principles of interagency collaboration; individualized, strengths-based care practices; cultural competence; community-based services; accountability; and full participation of families and youth at all levels of the system. A centralized focus of systems of care is building the infrastructure needed to result in positive outcomes for children, youth, and families.