CASSP Principles

I. Child Centered
Services are planned to meet the individual needs of the child, rather than to fit the child into an existing service. Services consider the child's family and community contexts, are developmentally appropriate, child-specific, and build on the strengths of the child and family.

II. Family Focused
Services recognize that the family is the primary support system for the child. The family participates as a full partner in all stages of the decision making and treatment planning process. A family may include biological, adoptive, and foster parents, siblings, grandparents and other relatives, and other adults who are committed to the child. The development of mental health policy at state and local levels includes family representation.

III. Community Based
Whenever possible, services are delivered in the child's home community, drawing on formal and informal resources to promote the child's successful participation in the community. Community resources include mental health professionals, provider agencies, and social, religious, and cultural organizations.

IV. Multi-System
Services are planned in collaboration with all the child-serving systems involved in the child's life. Representatives from all these systems and the family collaborate to define the goals for the child, develop a service plan, develop the necessary resources to implement the plan, provide support to the child and family, and evaluate progress.

V. Culturally Competent
Services that are culturally competent are provided by individuals who have the skills to recognize and respect the behavior, ideas, attitudes, values, beliefs, custom, language, rituals, ceremonies, and practices of a particular group of people.

Note: Pennsylvania's cultural competence initiative has focused specifically on African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and Native Americans who have historically not received culturally appropriate services.

VI. Least Restrictive / Least Intrusive
Services take place in settings that are most appropriate and natural to meet the needs of the child and family.