In 2012, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded Upstate New York with a four year, four million dollar grant to support broad-scale operation, expansion and integration of Systems of Care through the creation of sustainable infrastructure.
Originally called the Upstate New York System of Care Expansion Project is now a permanent cross-county collaborative network known as NYS Success: Connecting Systems of Care with Children and Families. With the assistance of a designated implementation & planning team, all 55 upstate counties are expected to successfully integrate and sustain the SOC philosophy within their own communities.
Over the course of four years (beginning in 2012), each county in New York State will be brought into the NYS Success Network as a member of one of four learning collaborative phases. Each year, the team and existing mentor counties (those who previously received their own local SOC grant from SAMHSA) within the NYS Success Network will work together with the learning collaborative phases to assist in the building and strengthening of their own System of Care.
SAMHSA System of Care (SOC) expansion builds upon the NYS Children’s plan, and the work begun by the Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors (CLMHD) in 2011 to instill SOC values and practices in 12 volunteer Learning Collaborative Counties. With funding from NYSOMH, the CLMHD provided support to the Learning Collaborative through their Technical Assistance (TA) Coordinator and purchased additional support and expertise from Coordinated Care Services, Inc. (CCSI). Thus, the expansion grant for upstate NY was able to propose a model whereby the growth would begin with the 12 Learning Collaborative Counties already identified, and then add 12 new counties in each successive year of the 4 year grant. The 48 expansion counties, along with the 7 previously and currently funded Upstate SOC counties; achieve the goal of embedding SOC throughout the 55 counties of upstate NY.
Supporting SOC Expansion
The NYS Success Advisory Council was created to serve in an advisory and coordinating function while striving to increase representation from additional key stakeholders and partners including champions from the state and local levels. Its purpose is to:
- provide guidance to the expansion grant roll-out
- support local county efforts to implement systems of care
- celebrate successes
- identify and prioritize cross systems barriers/gaps identified by the local county team and/or the council and
- address or refer those issues to the NYS Council on Children and Families.
The NYS Success Implementation Team consists of individuals from a variety of agencies charged with supporting upstate SOC expansion. These positions include:
- NYS Success Project Director
- TA Manager
- Family and Youth Representatives
- Lead Evaluator and Research Assistants
- Staff and Consultants in areas such as Social Marketing, Cultural Competence, Systems of Care and Organizational Development and
- Principal Investigator serving as a conduit for the funding which flows through Monroe County and its contract entity, CCSI.
Meant to assist in meeting grant deliverables while increasing partner and stakeholder participation, the current workgroups guide the expansion efforts in specific areas including:
- Innovation Fund
- Social Marketing/Communications
- Training/Technical Assistance
The Learning Collaborative, established to mirror the SAMHSA process of building upon local knowledge and resources defined by cross system teams, identify community needs and assets and then develop and implement a community plan for seamless, coordinated, community-based care.
These counties serve as a laboratory for innovative approaches which can be shared across the state, thereby creating the impetus for statewide reform.