Saginaw MAX System of Care Welcomes New Lead Family Representative

“I have sat at the table as an advocate for my own child and as an advocate for children in the classroom,” said Clark, who previously worked in the Saginaw Public School District and Francis Reh Academy as an academic interventionist and educator. “I understand some of the challenges families of children with serious emotional disturbance (SED) face, and I know my personal and professional experience can be a great tool of support for them as they work to refocus mental health care in Saginaw County on the needs of families.”

Clark earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Communications from Saginaw Valley State University before returning to earn her Teacher Certification in Communications. She is currently completing her master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Saginaw Valley and

In November 2009, youth, families, community leaders and agencies came together to develop a county-wide System of Care to support youth, ages six to 21, who experience serious emotional and behavior challenges and require services of two or more child-serving systems, such as mental health, juvenile justice, child welfare or special education. By December of that year, the collaborative group submitted a proposal to the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

SAMHSA recognized Saginaw County’s need and awarded a six-year, $9 million grant to continue to develop a children’s mental health System of Care. As of 2011, Saginaw County was one of only nine national grantees for the fiscal year.

“As the Lead Family Representative, it is my charge to supervise and provide training for family advocates and work in collaboration with project staff in all aspects of implementing the system of care in Saginaw County,” said Clark. “I am eager to facilitate system-wide awareness of family’s experiences and promote family engagement.”

Clark is based at the Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority building on Towerline Road in Buena Vista Township.