MHB Annual Report | FY21

System of Care
St. Louis Region

The System of Care (SOC) St. Louis is a network of child serving systems, agencies, community organizations, and families focused on the well-being of children and youth with serious emotional conditions and their families. The work of SOC is carried out by the SOC Council, Network of Practice, and a 20 Member Parent Advisory Council. Members of the Parent Advisory Council often serve as ambassadors for SOC sharing their personal stories and experiences navigating the children’s mental health system. According to Rene Murph, SOC Co-Chair and Regional Director for Missouri Families 4 Families, “The purpose of telling your story is to educate, promote positive change, and become empowered.” Parent Advisory Council members are supported by Family Support Partners from Vision for Children at Risk.

Al Eason, Founding Co-Chair Retires

This year the SOC celebrated the retirement of its founding Co-Chair, Al Eason, in July 2021 from the Department of Mental Health, wishing him farewell with gratitude for being a champion for youth and their families, and staying true to the System of Care values and principles.

Family Support Partners have lived experience as a parent or family member of a child with a serious emotional disorder, as well as a deep connection to the St. Louis community. Family Support Partners believe that parents are the experts on their families, which is evident in the empathy and compassion they bring to their work. In its first year of program delivery, the SOC Family Support Partners served 354 youth and parents/caregivers from 103 families. This is a significant milestone for establishing a children’s mental health system of care that is truly family guided and youth driven.