Wednesday, October 28, 2009

40 meet at Mental Health Board

Approximately 40 people assembled at the McHenry County Mental Health Board yesterday for a 3 1/2-hour retreat to plan the continuation of the Family CARE Project.

Several years ago the Mental Health Board was approved for a multi-million dollar, six-year grant from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), and the Family Child/Adolescent Recovery Experience (C.A.R.E.) was established.

Yesterday's group of providers, parents, young adults and consumers devoted their time to discuss the sustainability of the services being provided under the grant. The topic was "Goverance" - the roles and responsibilities of what many of us have called a program, but what really is a "System of Care."

Keywords were used continually through yesterday's retreat: Philosophy, cross-functional, collaboration, family-driven, child-/youth-centered.

The retreat was expertly led by Chris Cressler. Chris is Development Director at the Home of the Sparrow, but she was facilitating yesterday at the request of the Project Director of Family CARE, not as an employee of the Home of the Sparrow. She was very well organized, kept the retreat moving along on schedule and kept participants involved. Thanks, Chris!!!

The next step will be to develop a draft written governance structure diagram and policies regarding roles and responsibilities of all goverance components. These will be circulated among all who attended yesterday and to anyone else who is interested. Feedback will be incorporated into the draft, and then the retreat participants will reconvene to continue working on plans.

You might wish to visit the following websites:

And, if you are interested in participating in the next step, contact Todd Schroll at

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