Make Your Voice Heard: Interagency Coordinating Council for Children and Youth

Make Your Voice Heard: Interagency Coordinating Council for Children and Youth

  • Post category:News

We’ve been updating you on our progress to reestablish the Interagency Coordinating Council for Children and Youth, also known as the ICCCY. The ICCCY is authorized in statute to oversee and coordinate Mississippi’s system of care for children’s mental health but has not met in several years. Wendy Bailey, the new executive director at the Department of Mental Health is partnering with us on this effort, and invitations have recently gone out to members. We hope to schedule the first meeting very soon. If you would like to know more about the ICCCY you can watch our recent webinar here.

We want your input and ideas about the ICCCY. You can share your thoughts and suggestions by taking our ICCCY survey. Responses are anonymous and will be shared with ICCCY members to guide their work.  ICCCY meetings will be public and include time for public comments.

Some of you have already responded to the survey to share what you think. Here is a snapshot of the responses that we’ve received so far to the survey questions:

What do you think are the most important issues for the Interagency Coordinating Council for Children and Youth (ICCCY) to work on?
  • It’s important for the ICCCY to get organized and meeting again, and for the different agencies and organizations in the ICCCY to work together so that there is a real system of care in our state. 
  • Need to get services for children and youth in rural communities (and related transportation issues), and increase access to all levels of care, as well as address disparities involving insurance and services. 
  • It’s very important for families to be a part of the decision-making process and that children/youth/families play a role and have a voice in all aspects of the ICCCY process.
What do you think are the greatest barriers to the different state systems working together?  
  • State agencies and departments often have an “us versus them” mentality when it should be a team effort, and also have a rigidity that results in them not coming together to create one mission. 
  • When systems do not work together or coordinate their schedules in supporting families it causes families to feel overwhelmed. 
  • Poor communication, divisions in overarching goals, limited understanding of agency oversight responsibility and also not having one group overseeing and offering assistance, technical assistance, and oversight. 
What suggestions do you have for the ICCCY to help make sure all the partners work together in a meaningful way?
  • Have set goals and build the ICCCY team so that they have the same goals. All voices are needed and must be heard, and meetings need to be consistent and meaningful.
  • Once the ICCCY has been formed all members should go on a facilitated retreat to build relationships and get state agencies out of their comfort zones. 
What are your suggestions on how the ICCCY can make sure it meaningfully partners with families?
  • Explain to families what the ICCCY isengage families in the ICCCY meetings and conversations, provide them with leadership opportunities and allow them to be a part of the decision-making process. 
  • Conduct targeted outreach to engage diverse families, ensure that key positions in the ICCCY are held by family members, ask families what they need. 
  • ICCCY meetings need to be public and transparent, all involved agencies and organizations must commit to doing outreach and communications, local partners need to be engaged across the state to overcome trust issues.
If you haven’t already, please take our ICCCY survey and share your thoughts and suggestions with us, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on our progress with reestablishing the ICCCY in future newsletters.
[Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash]

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