About Us

Our Mission

To create a coordinated and comprehensive System of Care addressing the mental health needs of children and adolescents in Winnebago and Boone Counties

Our Vision

A comprehensive, coordinated, equitable, and evidence-based youth mental health system of care affordable and accessible for all children, youth, and adults ages 0-21 in Winnebago and Boone counties.


A community planning team worked collaboratively to submit a grant proposal to the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) to develop a Youth Mental Health System of Care. This team included representatives from Rosecrance, Youth Services Network, Children’s Home & Aid, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Winnebago County Health Department, Rockford Regional Health Council, Crusader Community Health, MercyHealth, Carrie Lynn Children’s Center, Rockford Public Schools, Easterseals Metropolitan Chicago, and 17th Judicial Circuit Court. We were one of eight finalists but did not receive the grant.


Continued to pursue future funding opportunities


Received a four-year grant from Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) with a targeted focus on:

  1. Deep engagement of people with lived experience in order to refine our plan
  2. Heightened collaboration and coordinated care among partners and community-based organizations through the creation of a monthly Community of Practice
  3. Capacity-building of mental health service providers through workforce development and training


  1. Began systems development by hiring a full-time System of Care Navigator
  2. Developed and distributed a survey for those with the lived experience of navigating mental health services in Boone and Winnebago Counties. This data will be analyzed and used to guide our work, map our community’s progress, and pursue future funding opportunities


  1. Created collaboration among various mental health agencies to pilot a cohort of PracticeWise trained clinicians on evidence-based practices
  2. Began implementation of the Integrated Referral and Intake System (IRIS), a tool used to connect families to services through inter-agency collaboration with a plan to expand throughout Winnebago and Boone counties in 2023 and beyond

Community Support Systems (CSS) Framework

We utilize the CSS framework as a model for our System of Care. This framework was initially developed for use with adults with serious mental illness, but has been adapted for youth after careful review of literature and best practices for youth mental health services.


Our work is guided by data. We surveyed area service providers, stakeholders, and people with lived experience to learn about the strengths and gaps in service provision. An example of our data can be found in the Key Informant Survey from 2019.