Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 505–520 | Cite as

Impact of a System of Care on a Community's Children's Social Services System

  • Jeffrey A. Anderson
  • Rhonda D. Meyer
  • W. Patrick Sullivan
  • Eric R. Wright


Researchers and practitioners have questioned how the implementation of a system of care influences the broader context of children's social services within a community. We examined the impact that the Dawn Project system of care had on children's services in Marion County, Indiana. A series of semi-structured interviews were conducted in order to gain a broad understanding of stakeholder perspectives related to how system-level and other community leaders viewed system of care influences. Qualitative analyses uncovered several common themes including positive impact at the community level, challenges to implementation, and feelings of ambivalence related to program impact. Results were generally positive and suggested that most respondents saw core system of care principles beginning to emerge within the community related to the establishment of the care system. In addition, challenges to implementing the system of care also were uncovered, including some underlying resistance to system-level changes. Implications from our study highlight the importance of continuously working to enhance strengths and collaboration among systems, integrate and coordinate across systems and services, and authentically involve families at all levels.

Key Words

systems of care mental health children's social services system level change 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey A. Anderson
    • 1
  • Rhonda D. Meyer
    • 2
  • W. Patrick Sullivan
    • 3
  • Eric R. Wright
    • 4
  1. 1.Indiana University School of Education at IUPUIIndianapolis
  2. 2.Department of Counseling and Educational PsychologyIndiana UniversityBloomington
  3. 3.Indiana University School of Social WorkIndianapolis
  4. 4.School of Public and Environmental AffairsIndiana University Purdue UniversityIndianapolis

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