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Division Mental Health Services

Office of Children and Youth

Vision–The vision of the Office of Children and Youth is to assure that all Tennessee children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health issues and their families have access to quality, culturally competent mental health services and supports.

Mission–The Office of Children and Youth provides oversight to the statewide system of mental health services to children and youth and their families, and is responsible for statewide planning and program development. C & Y Services provides policy guidance, technical assistance, support and program oversight for child-serving agencies in the development implementation and expansion statewide of programs and services for children and youth with or at risk of serious emotional disturbance and their families. Goals that help to assure that children and families receive appropriate services and supports have been established.

Goals of Office of Children and Youth

  • Participate in the development of a statewide Systems Of Care
  • Eliminate fragmentation of services for children and youth
  • Identify and promote best mental health practices for children and youth based on empirical data
  • Promote equal access to mental health and other needed services across the state
  • Participate in the development of innovative, empirically driven services based on prevention, early intervention, and treatment models specific to the mental health of children and youth
  • Eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness through public education. Children and youth are vulnerable and youth with mental disorders are resilient and recovery is possible.
  • Eliminate racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic disparities in access and treatment of children and youth with mental disorders
  • Involve families, youth, and other stakeholders in the development of a comprehensive mental health agenda
  • Promote the parity of mental health services with physical health services through policy initiatives
  • Educate the public about children and youth’s mental health needs

Values –The Office of Children and Youth promotes a holistic approach to serving children and their families through services that are:

Strength-based – All children, youth, and their families bring unique strengths that should be honored and nurtured.

Community-based – Children and youth belong in their communities.

Comprehensive – A broad array of services and supports should be available.

Family driven – Families are the best advocates for their children and should be partners in all levels of decision making.

Youth-guided – Youth should be involved in their treatment.

Respectful –Services should be responsive to family needs, cultural differences and special issues. Services and supports should be equitable and responsive to the cultural and linguistic characteristics of the child and family.

Integrated – Interagency planning, resource sharing and service delivery is promoted.

Least restrictive – Services and supports should be delivered in a normalized and least restrictive setting. The office believes that services have more positive outcomes when they are provided in the child’s natural setting such as families, schools, day care, and normative healthy settings.
Culturally and linguistically competent.

Children and Youth Links