Family driven care is one of the three core values in Systems of Care. The first Systems of Care grants were initiated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 1993 through the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Families program. Since that time they have been one of the biggest promoters and developers of the family driven care movement in the United States. “In 2004 SAMHSA asked the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health to develop a definition of family driven care. An expert panel, consisting of family leaders and other professionals, was formed to develop the first draft of a definition of family driven care (Spencer, Blau, & Mallery, 2010).” There have been some revisions through the years and the current draft can be found on the National Federation of Families website. The current version includes the definition as well as the values necessary to achieve family driven practice and can be found here

Reference: Spencer, S.A., Blau, G.M., & Mallery, C.J. (2010). Family-Driven Care in America: More Than a Good Idea. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 19 (3), 176–181.

The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health provides an excellent video on the importance and structure of Family Engagement. Check it out here:

Speaking up helps my personal well-being and gives me strength. Helping to inspire others gives me purpose.

Family Leader, Virginia