//Philadelphia System of Care

Philadelphia System of Care

Philadelphia’s System of Care has supported the delivery of quality services to youth and young adults with complex mental health needs and their families for many years. The success of our cross-system partnerships, and the rich history of service provision, was the foundation for our county to receive a federal SAMHSA “System of Care” grant in 2015. Since then, federal funding has been a catalyst within our community, providing extra motivation for us to transform our current system into the reality of our vision.



Over the past 10 years, since the publication of the Philadelphia Blue Ribbon Commission on Children’s Behavioral Health in 2007, child serving systems (Dept of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, Dept of Human Services, School District, Juvenile Probation and Family Court), family members with children/youth with behavioral health needs, youth advocates, children’s behavioral health providers, advocacy organizations and other community stakeholders in Philadelphia have acknowledged and agreed that the social and emotional well-being of Philadelphia’s children is the responsibility of all.


Current Initiative

In 2015, the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), in collaboration with its community partners, family members and youth, applied for and was awarded a 4 year System of Care Expansion Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to build upon and expand Philadelphia’s system of care.
Transformation of our City’s behavioral health care system for children continues today through partnership and the implementation of high quality services and innovative strategies to empower youth and families. Through DBHIDS and the network of children’s mental health providers within Community Behavioral Health (CBH), Philadelphia System of Care has an extensive array of services and supports that is available to the children and families of our community.


Our Goals

The mission of the Philadelphia System of Care is for every youth and family in the city of Philadelphia to be able to easily access a collaborative network of behavioral health services and supports that partner with youth and families to meet their needs. To this end, Philadelphia System of Care works to achieve the following goals:

  • Behavioral health and related services that are easy to access, available as long as needed, and coordinated to meet the unique needs of each individual youth and family
  • Strong partnerships between youth with or at risk of serious behavioral health challenges, their families, and child-serving systems and agencies
  • Access to quality, culturally- and linguistically- competent, and individualized services and supports for youth and their families
  • Youth and family leadership is strengthened and sustained at the service, program, and system level in the Philadelphia System of Care
  • Capacity for meaningful and supportive family relationships or relationships with a caring adult for all youth, including those in child welfare


Youth and young adults with complex mental health needs, and their families are encouraged to become a part of Philadelphia’s System of Care and to join us in the effort to make things better for others in our community. Please see the Contact Us page to learn more about how you can become involved in transforming our community’s mental health system.