About The Source


A system of care is a coordinated network of community partners, formal and informal, who provide services and supports for youth who have mental health concerns – or are at risk for them – and their families. The mission of The SOURCE is simply stated: “Bringing hope to children with mental health challenges, one family at a time.”
When asked to talk about their vision for the work, The SOURCE leaders said, “We are here to ‘tighten the holes in the net’ to improve the effectiveness of services through collaboration and coordination to ensure that the children who need care get the services they require.” An effective system of care is built on collaboration and fills the gaps in services and supports for children with mental health concerns.
It is about breaking new ground where needed. It is about the whole community coming together and partnering with families to support children and youth so that they can function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life.

The SOURCE seeks to live by and exemplify a system of care values by being:


Family-driven and youth guided

With the strengths and needs of the child and family determining the types and mix of services and supports provided.


With services and system management resting within supportive structures and relationships at the community level.

Culturally and linguistically competent

With agencies, programs, and services that reflect the cultural, racial, ethnic, and linguistic differences of the populations served so people have access to appropriate services and supports.


Recognizing the centrality of trauma to human experience helps our system of care provide an environment in which safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment are ensured to avoid re-traumatization. In this environment we ask, “What has happened to this person?” instead of “What is wrong with this person?”

Here’s a short video that explains the value of systems of care

New Opportunities

In 2016, Elkhart County and The SOURCE, received a significant multi-year grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to expand the system of care throughout the county. Themed “No Wrong Door,” the grant is aimed at growing the system of care by improving access to child and youth mental health services and resources so that the well-being of our community will be forever changed. The combination of federal and local funds, as well as dedicated community stakeholders, has meant progress in:





Learning how to make ACCESS to services more family friendly


Reducing JUVENILE JUSTICE involvement by youth with mental health challenges


Outreach to children and youth AT RISK for or with mental health challenges and early intervention so that they will not need more intensive services


Positive messaging in the community to SUPPORT EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING


Evaluation and reporting the IMPACT of this work

The expansion projects have given The SOURCE the opportunity to engage more community partners in supporting children’s mental health in our community. If you would like to be more involved, please contact us.
The “Tennessee Voices” video above demonstrates how the system of care can improve children’s lives and the lives of families and the community as a whole.
Why should I care?

System of Care Principles


Access to a broad array of effective services and supports


Individualized, strengths-based approach


Home and community-based services and supports


Family and youth partnerships


Cross-system collaboration between child-serving agencies and programs


Coordinated services that respond to changing needs


Developmentally appropriate services and supports for young children and their families


Developmentally appropriate services and supports for transition-age youth


Collaboration on mental health promotion, prevention, early identification and intervention


Continuous accountability and outcome-based decisions


Protection and advocacy for the rights of children, youth and families


Provision of services and supports to all who need it, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical disability, socioeconomic status, geography, language, immigration status or other characteristics




Wraparound begins in Elkhart County. Community Team meets.
Elkhart County’s efforts are recognized by Gold Award from the American Psychiatric Association.



Funding sources for wraparound diminish. Community Team keeps meeting to further develop the system of care.
Community Team develops plan for system of care and hires Coordinator. Name The SOURCE is born.



Continued system of care development and expansion through multiple projects for the community.
Federal SAMHSA grant supports system of care expansion in the community.


Wraparound and the System of Care: A Family Journey

While system of care language is not necessarily “top of mind” in our community, the individual service planning process at the heart of system of care – wraparound – is. In 1997 Elkhart County took pioneering steps to develop a thriving wraparound process housed with its mental health partner, Oaklawn. By 2002 Elkhart County’s work in wraparound was so successful that it received the Gold Award from the American Psychiatric Association. Some people often ask how system of care and wraparound are related, or how they are different.

The System of Care

People sometime ask what is the difference between a system of care and wraparound and how are they related? A system of care is a network of services and supports for children and youth with – or at risk for – mental health challenges, and their families. To be a viable part of that network, those services and supports must be coordinated, effective, and community-based. They help youth function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life. The network not only builds meaningful partnerships between providers, but most importantly builds close partnerships with families and youth, and addresses their cultural and linguistic needs. (Based on Stroul, 2010) So, the system of care serves as infrastructure within a community. An infrastructure is the basic physical and organizational structure needed to operate an enterprise. Just as it is hard to go on a journey and not have good roads, bridges or access to fuel – and have them connected and well mapped – it is impossible to have good services and supports for youth and families without a coordinated structure to serve as a framework in which they function well. That is the system of care.


Just as we need good roads for a journey, we need reliable cars and buses to make that journey. Wraparound is an intensive, holistic method of engaging with children and youth with complex needs – and their families – so that they can live in their homes and communities and realize their journey to their hopes and dreams. The wraparound process aims to achieve positive outcomes by providing a structured, creative and individualized team planning process. It results in plans that are more effective for the child and family. Because wraparound is so individualized and based on the unique vision and needs of each family, it is hard to think that a wraparound process could be successful without a really effective, connected and inclusive system of care. Wraparound is the most direct practice level expression of the system of care and is the cornerstone of the system of care framework (Based on Blau). Wraparound is the process or vehicle to mobilize and infuse system of care values within the service system for youth and families. If we didn’t have wraparound as a process or a value base, we would not understand how the system of care should be built or work in our communities. There is no sense in having good roads if there is no reason or way to take the journey. – Bonnie Raine
The Source • Youth Mental Health Network


There are a lot of places in your city that can help, too. Here is a list of some community resources.

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For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call 988 or text the word ‘home’ to 741741 for Crisis Text Line.