The Mountain State Parents Child and Adolescent Network (MSP-CAN) promotes reforms in the service delivery
system through a continuum of interrelated activities that educate and support parents and caregivers
and inform practitioners, administrators and policy-makers.
Our training assists parents and caregivers in overcoming the shame, blame, guilt, and stigma commonly associated with childhood mental illness. We teach parents about emotional disorders, treatments, and their local service delivery system. MSP-CAN supports parents by building hope and confidence and by helping them partner effectively with providers and schools to develop and implement individualized, strength-based care for their children. The Network also sponsors education and training of parents and provides instruction to parents so they can become trainers themselves.
Additionally, we provide education for administrators and policy-makers to further their understanding of the many factors that contribute to the development of emotional disorders and the need for interagency collaboration and family partnership to achieve optimal outcomes for youth and their families. Through these efforts, we support the creation of collaborative programs that value partnership with families and provide individualized, strength-based care.
The Network also plans and conducts research about outcomes for children and their families. Data resulting
from this research is disseminated to state and government mental health agencies and
to other concerned parties to demonstrate the benefits of these efforts.
In addition to training, MSP-CAN provides advocacy to assist parents in overcoming systemic barriers to an individual’s strength-based care. Through advocacy, both parents and practitioners learn communication
and problem resolution strategies needed to partner effectively.
We believe children and youth who have serious emotional, behavioral, or mental health challenges:
Must be individuals first.
Have rights and strengths that should be respected by all.
Are members of a family.
Families of these young people:
Have strengths and needs.
Must be viewed as team members and experts since they have 7 days a week, 24 hours a day lifelong experiences.
Have many ways of adjusting to family needs.
Are a source of strength for their young people.
Services provided to children or youth with special needs and their families:
Must emphasize strengths, must be based on need, and are affordable.
Must be accessible for that family.
Must be provided respectfully, non-judgmentally, and unconditionally.
Must be provided when possible, support through networking and partnerships with others.
Must be provided locally whenever possible.