Our Family Systems Managers (FSMs) collaborate with families and service providers to increase community and program effectiveness, build partnerships, and foster family involvement in decision-making about policies and practices that affect the well-being of our children. Their goal is to ensure that families, caregivers, and youths become active and equal partners in Connecticut’s networks of care.

What do Family Systems Mangers do?

  • Mobilize families, service providers, and other systems partners to facilitate change.
  • Offer education, technical assistance, and mentoring to assist in the development of family-driven and youth-guided practice.
  • Work with service providers to provide resources and information to facilitate family participation on advisory boards and in other policy-related activities in their communities. They work with family members to prepare them for leadership roles.
  • Assist service providers, community partners, and other systems partners in becoming familiar with family- and youth-driven practices and the principles and the development of family leadership.
  • Bring community partners together to share experiences, solve common problems, and develop innovative approaches to family engagement.
  • Collaborate with system partners to strengthen partnerships between families, caregivers, youths, and service providers in children’s behavioral health.
  • Promote full representation and equal participation of families with varied characteristics (e.g., ethnic minorities, various health challenges, and diverse lifestyles).
  • Support initiatives (e.g., CONNECT) that seek to integrate networks of care and implement Connecticut’s Children’s Behavioral Health Plan (P.A 13-178).

How do Family Systems Mangers work with caregivers, youths, and other family members?

FSMs understand the complex and unique challenges that families encounter. We can help you:

  • Develop, articulate, and utilize your own voice to help shape policies that affect the well-being of children in Connecticut.
  • Join together with other families to support the development of family-driven and youth-guided program practices and public policies.
  • Learn about culturally appropriate programs and services in your community.
  • Identify leadership opportunities in your community, regionally, and statewide.
  • Participate in efforts to increase family representation in the decision-making process where your feedback is needed.

What opportunities exist for family members to make a difference?

Family System Managers will work with you, learn your interests, and help you identify leadership opportunities that will interest you. With the Family System Manager’s guidance and support, you will have the opportunity to learn to advocate for your own family and other families, and become the voice of change within your community. Your knowledge and experience will help your system and community providers understand the service system from the family, caregiver, or youth point of view.

Here are just a few of the opportunities to get involved:

  • Local system of care community collaborative meetings
  • Local interagency service team meetings
  • Local community-based groups that focus on specific topics such as education, housing, or social services
  • State, regional, and area advisory council meetings (e.g., the Children’s Behavioral Health Advisory Council, Regional Advisory Councils)
  • Family & Youth Advisory Boards and support groups
  • Citizen review panels (e.g., State Advisory Council or the FAVOR Family Councils)
  • Offering peer support to other families with children who have medical, mental, or behavioral health issues