As Arkansas has shifted to a system of care model over the past few years, a major focus has been on improving the quality and consistency of treatment for young people in the state. From task forces assembled by First Lady of Arkansas Ginger Beebe to advocacy groups comprised solely of youth, the focus has shifted from treating youth as children to treating youth as partners in their care.
A system of care is defined as a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that is organized to meet the challenges of youth with behavioral health needs and their families. In addition to strengthening the ties among institutions that interact with youth, there are community organizations that offer opportunities for youth to get involved in shaping policy and practices, such as:
- The Family and Youth Assistance Network (FYAN) facilitates family and youth driven education, support, and advocacy for children, youth, and their families living with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs.
- Youth M.O.V.E. (Motivating Others through Voices of Experience) is an organization that produces respected community leaders who partner with systems, programs and agencies to meet youth needs. Youth M.O.V.E. Arkansas has already made strides toward their vision through peer-to-peer counseling, speaking engagements, and several statewide initiatives with a focus on improving services for children, youth, and families. To learn more about Arkansas Youth M.O.V.E. visit http://www.youthmovear.org/