Approach of A Shared Vision II Children and Youth Section

The challenge faced by the Children and Youth Action Team that developed this section of the A Shared Vision II was how to concentrate on these many needs, while maintaining a focus on the whole child and to do so in a fiscally responsible manner. Following are approaches which were selected.

25. Efficient and effective interventions are possible when agencies collaborate and coordinate service delivery at both the state and local community level.

26. Care for children and youth can be strengthened by integrating physical and mental health care delivery systems.

27. Assessment and delivery systems need to focus their attention where children spend most of their time--in homes and in schools.

28. Early intervention pays, cutting the huge human, social and economic costs of untreated mental illnesses.

29. Aggressive screening and appropriate diagnosis by professionals trained in childhood mental and emotional disorders is essential for successful early intervention.

30. Some groups of children and youth are at high risk or have need for intensive services. We should focus on their treatment needs. These under-served groups include children living in rural areas, in poverty, in families in crisis, or substance abusing families, or who have physical illnesses or disabilities.

31. Treatment and services should be available in the child's or youth's home community or as close as possible within Alaska, recognizing that some highly specialized services may only be available outside the state.

The Children and Youth Action Team envisions a system of care that links children and youth and their families to a wide variety of family focused, community based and culturally appropriate services that are organized to work together. Effective interagency partnerships between consumers, mental health providers, child welfare, education, substance abuse, domestic violence, physical health and juvenile justice, can help establish appropriate individualized service plans that build on family strengths and needs.