Communities across Texas have made a commitment to better serve children and youth with serious mental health conditions and their families. They have transformed the way they do business by bringing services and providers together in a collaborative network to better serve families in the least restrictive and most accessible environment. Each uses a systems of care approach to services that recognizes the importance of family, school and community, and seeks to promote the full potential of every child and youth by addressing their physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural and social needs.

To view the System of Care Expansion Model, please click here.

To view a snapshot of System of Care across Texas, please click here. 

Hidalgo County System of Care

Counties Served: Hildago, Cameron and Willacy Counties

Tropical Texas Behavioral Health (TTBH) is a system of care expansion community located along the Texas – Mexico border, and serves as the development site. As a development site, TTBH is incorporating the system of care values and principles so that they can provide a more coordinated approach to serving youth and families. Groundwork includes educating the community on system of care values and principles; identifying and improving a service gap; establishing a local community leadership structure; and developing and implementing a strategic plan. In summer 2014, TTBH rolled out the Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Waiver to expand Medicaid services to eligible youth within the community.

Bexar CARES 

County Served: Bexar County

Mission: Bexar CARES weaves together system and service partnerships to create a blanket of support that helps children and families achieve success.

Vision: All children and youth with complex needs and their families can choose from a full array of services accessible through one door.

Target Population: Ages 3 – 8

Names and Years of Previous Systems of Care: Bexar CARES Texas System of Care Community Expansion Site: 2012 – 2014; Bexar CARES ASSET Planning Site: 2012 – 2013; Bexar CARES TIFI Site: 2009 – 2011

Contact: F. Leanne Lindsey, Director, (210) 261-3539

Fun Fact about the Region: The city of San Antonio is the seventh most populated city in the United States of America, and the second most populated city in the state of Texas. San Antonio was named for Saint Anthony of Padua, whose feast day is on June 13, by a Spanish expedition of the area in 1691. The missions of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park along with the Alamo became part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites on July 5, 2015. The San Antonio Missions became the 23rd United States site on the World Heritage List, which includes the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty. It is also the first site in the state of Texas.

The Children’s Mental Health Partnership – Travis County

The Children’s Partnership unites and coordinates local resources to maintain a system of care in Travis County – a system that works hand-in-hand with families, focusing on the unique strengths of each child and embracing the unique values and culture of each family. The system of care allows local organizations to work in teams – with families as critical partners – to provide a full range of services to children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances. This team strives to meet the unique needs of each young person and his or her family in or near their home. A service plan, unique to each child and youth, assists families in navigating the system of care. This plan is based upon family needs and preferences and has an ultimate goal of preventing out-of-home placement.

The Children’s Partnership believes in agency collaboration and community and family involvement, and has demonstrated that uniting and coordinating local resources is a more cost-effective and efficient approach to providing services to children, youth and families. The Children’s Partnership’s community partners include four school districts, the mental health authority, the child welfare system, Health and Human Services, the juvenile justice system and Casey Family Programs. Based on longstanding relationships bolstered by formal written agreements, the collaborative approach maximizes resources, prevents duplication of efforts, and provides a continuum of care for children and youth involved with multiple systems.

Nontraditional services available for families include resources available through faith-based, community-based and neighborhood organizations, as well as school and after-school programs. The support that The Children’s Partnership helps coordinate and monitor can be as basic as transportation, parent to parent support, after school care, mentoring and respite care. In addition, The Children’s Partnership employs Parent Liaisons, who are parents of children and youth with mental health needs who have experience navigating the public systems, to assist other parents who are experiencing similar life situations. The use of Parent Liaisons has been invaluable in offering parents the support they need to access services, and the opportunity to discuss issues about changes they would like to see within the community system of care.

Paving the Way

Counties Served: Erath, Hood, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker, Somervell and Tarrant Counties

Vision: Transforming communities and empowering youth to achieve a successful future.

Target Population: Transition Age Youth ages 16 – 21 with a mental health diagnosis. An emphasis is placed on youth transitioning out of foster care and/or juvenile services.

Names and Years of Previous Systems of Care: Hand in Hand: 2008 – 2015; Community Solutions: 2002 – 2008


Fun Fact: The population in the seven North Texas counties served by Paving the Way is 2,541,107 across 5,133.74 square miles. This population of these counties is larger than that of 11 states.

Rural Counties Initiative for Resiliency and Recovery (RCI)

Counties Served: Bailey, Briscoe, Castro, Floyd, Hale, Lamb, Motley, Parmer, Swisher, Armstrong, Carson, Childress, Collingsworth, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Donley, Gray, Hall, Hansford, Hartley, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman and Wheeler

Mission: To cultivate a responsive community of care that inspires, supports and enables all children and families to realize their potential to lead healthy, productive lives in their communities.

Vision: Harvest of hope and health for our children, families, individuals in recovery and communities.

Target Population: Transition-aged youth, ages 13 – 21, with serious emotional disturbance and possible co-occurring substance use/abuse disorder.

Names and Years of Previous Systems of Care: Texas Integrated Funding Initiative (TIFI): 2000 – 2006; Texas Mental Health Transformation Incentive Grant: Began in 2005; Rural Children’s System of Care Initiative: Began in 2008.


Fun Fact: Jimmy Dean, country music entertainer and sausage king, was born in Olton, Texas (Lamb County) in 1928 and grew up in Plainview, Texas (Hale County). Waylon Jennings, singer and songwriter, was born in Littlefield, Texas in 1937 and first performed on KVOW radio at age 12.

Dallas County System of Care

Counties Served: Dallas County

Mission: To utilize a collaborative approach to provide coordinated and protective care throughout Dallas County ensuring delivery of integrated mental health services that are accessible, culturally responsive, strengths-based and family driven for children, youth and families.

Target Population: Children, youth and families


Fun Facts: 

  • Dallas is an alpha city, considered to be of key importance for the global economy, and the only such city in the South Central region of the United States.
  • Dallas is the home of the Dallas Arts District, considered to be the largest center of urban art in the United States
  • Dallas is the city where 7-Eleven, the largest and most extensive convenience store company on the planet, started in 1927. The stores operated under the name “Tot’em Stores” until 1946.

Midland County System of Care

Counties Served: Midland County

Mission and Vision: The Midland County System of Care (MCSOC) is an organizational philosophy and framework that involves collaboration across agencies and families for the purpose of improving and expanding access to an array of coordinated community-based, culturally and linguistically competent services and supports for children and youth with who are at risk of being of placed out of their homes and community due to any or all of the following circumstances:

  • their involvement with the juvenile justice system
  • a serious emotional disturbance
  • lack of a safe home environment

The MCSOC strives to help children, youth, and families function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life.

Target Population: Families with children and youth of any age who are risk of being placed out of the home and community.


  • Forest Hanna, (432) 688-4556
  • Gabbi Palo, (432) 688-4580

Fun Fact: Midland is known as “Tall City” and is named for the fact that it lies midway between Ft. Worth and El Paso

Harris County System of Hope – Houston

Systems of Care is more than a program — it is a philosophy of how care should be delivered. Systems of Hope meet the needs of Harris County children and youth with serious mental health needs and their families by creating a collaborative network of community-based services and supports using the systems of care framework. It is an approach to services that recognizes the importance of family, school and community, and seeks to promote the full potential of every child and youth by addressing their physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural and social needs. A plan of care is created for each family focusing on their strengths.

Even its name, Systems of Hope, represents the program’s confidence and commitment to restoring hope to the families it serves. Care coordinators work very closely with youth and families to provide advocacy and coordination of services to achieve total empowerment for the youth and family in the community. Care coordinators utilize their resource expertise utilizing traditional and nontraditional community services or supports. Care coordinators also work very closely with the parent partners to identify youth & family strengths used to create individualized care plans. The care teams (care coordinator & parent partner) work together to ensure all of the needs of the youth, and family are met.

Parent Partners work with families to identify their natural resources and learn how to navigate systems to ensure the needs of their child are met. Parent Partners have personal experience as caregivers of children who have been diagnosed with a mental illness, and they can support families and provide guidance drawing from their own experiences. Families benefit from having a peer involved in the development of an individual care plan for their children because Parent Partners can provide non-traditional support such as attending ARD meetings with families.

It utilizes the Wraparound process, which follows a series of steps to help children and their families plan their course and reach their goals. Care Teams, made up of a Care Coordinator paired with a Parent Partner, meet with families and their children to collaboratively discover their strengths and challenges to create a plan of care, which serves as the family’s roadmap. It is our role to assist the entire family, rather than an individual. Systems of Hope focuses on the family’s strengths and uses both traditional, like counseling, and non-traditional, such as Equestrian Therapy), methods of service.

El Paso County Department of Mental Health Support Services – El Paso County

Mental Health Support Services is unlike any other mental health wellness approach in El Paso County. It is not a service provider but rather is the main point of contact and guide to wrapping a family with as many community based services as are appropriate and needed. There are support staff that provide knowledge and activities for both the youth and the parents to participate. Child-serving agencies come together in order to assist the family of the identified client. The family chooses who will be on their team as they work towards achieving their goals in the program. Team members can be teachers, pastors, friends, relatives, doctors etc.

One of the most unique aspects of the service approach is that no one is removed from the program. If a family, individual or agency is struggling with part of the agreed upon action plan, then the team revisits the goals. The teams at Mental Health Support Services are all culturally sensitive to the needs of the diverse population that calls El Paso, Texas home. They have received hundreds of hours in cultural competency and infuse their knowledge into the care they provide, ensuring that the families are comfortable.

Mental Health Support Services offers a Parent Academy that addresses concerns of parents and teaches them skills that will assist their children with serious mental health issues. A Youth Leadership Academy provides youth 13-18 with tools to help them be successful, such as leadership building, planning for college, job interviews, and budgeting. A Children’s Academy for children ages 7-12 is also available.

Mental Health Support Services also offer mental health consultation services to both parents and child care providers, helping them to respond to children who display challenging behaviors, promote young children’s healthy social and emotional development, and supporting families and providers. They also partner with the El Paso Juvenile Probation Department, working to divert youth with mental health concerns from the formal juvenile justice system, providing counseling to youth at risk of entering a secured juvenile facility, and help youth who are coming out the juvenile justice system reunify with their families. At each step of the way, Mental Health Support Services works to link youth and their families with community resources to help them succeed.