The Massachusetts Multi-City Young Children’s Mental Health System of Care (SOC) Planning Project was conducted in the state’s three largest cities (Boston, Worcester and Springfield) to develop strategic plans to improve local services for children ages 0-9 with serious emotional disturbances and their families, and demonstrate the value of a planning model that is locally focused but also involves state agencies. Serving as the independent evaluator, Center staff identified the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of the planning process, so this information can be used to improve the process and potential replicability in other communities. The evaluation examined the extent to which project activities have been responsive to cultural health beliefs, practices, preferred languages, health literacy and other communication needs of residents in the three partner cities.
This project contributes to the development of a shared understanding among local and state stakeholders of the key elements of a system of care for young children in the state’s three largest cities. CAHPP staff submitted a final report to Boston Public Health Commission which will inform the development of strategic plans to expand the system of care for children and their families.