Innovative Approaches: Community Systems Building Grants for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN)


Best Practice

Innovative Approaches: Community Systems Building Grants for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN)

State/JurisdictionSettingPopulationTopic AreaNPMs
North CarolinaCommunityCYSHCNService Coordination & Integration6, 11, 12, 15

The purpose of the Innovative Approaches (IA) initiative is threefold: (1) to thoroughly examine the community system of care for CYSHCN; (2) to facilitate community identification of sustainable system changes and promising practices; and (3) to coordinate the implementation of these practices with agencies, providers, and families in the community. Targeted efforts, including continuous quality improvement (CQI) efforts, to both build capacity and implement change strategies have resulted in service delivery system improvements, which over the long‐term lead to meaningful improvements in the lives of CYSHCN and their families in NC.

Innovative Approaches uses a family-driven systems change approach rather than a program-based approach to address community improvements for families of CYSHCN. Family-driven systems change is the core of Innovative Approaches. IA provides families of CYSHCN the opportunity to be actively involved in examining and fostering improvement of community-wide systems of care resulting in increased family satisfaction with services received and improved outcomes for CYSHCN.

The Innovative Approaches initiative was launched in 2010 in four pilot counties. Since 2010, the initiative has grown to include counties in all regions of North Carolina including the Mountain region, Piedmont region, and Coastal Plains region. With the selection of counties for the 4th cohort of funding (FYs 2019-2022), twenty-two of North Carolina’s one hundred counties will have engaged in community systems building for CYSHCN.


contact information

NC DHHS DPH Children & Youth Branch
Kristin Dodge, MPH, NC Innovative Approaches Director
kristin.dodge@dhhs.nc.gov
919-707-5662

Project Website