Header Photo

CASSP Principles

CASSP stands for the Child and Adolescent Service System Program which is designed to help

children and adolescents diagnosed with emotional disturbances gain access to needed services.

Services should be planned collaboratively with the child or adolescent’s family, the mental health

system, the school, and other agencies.

1. Child-centered

Services meet the specific needs of each child, rather than trying to fit the child into an existing

service. Services consider the child’s family and community contexts in addition to being

developmentally appropriate and child-specific. Services build on the child and family’s strengths

in order to meet the mental health, social, and physical needs of the child.

2. Family-focused

Services recognize the family as the primary support system for the child. The family participates

as full partner in all stages of the decision-making and treatment planning process, including

implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. A family may include biological, adoptive and foster

parents, siblings, grandparents and other relatives, as well as other adults who are committed to

the child.

3. Community-based

Whenever possible, services are delivered in the child’s natural environment, drawing on

formal and informal resources to promote the child’s successful participation in the community.

Community resources include not only mental health professionals and provider agencies, but

also social, religious and cultural organizations, as well as other natural community support


4. Multi-system

Services are planned in collaboration with other the child-serving systems already identified in

the child’s life. Representatives from these systems collaborate with the family to define goals

for the child, develop a service plan, develop the necessary resources to implement the plan,

provide appropriate support to the child and family, and evaluate the child’s progress.

5. Culturally competent

Culture determines our world view and provides a general design for living and patterns for

interpreting reality that are reflected in our behavior. Therefore, services that are culturally

competent are provided by individuals who have the skills to recognize and respect the

behaviors, ideas, attitudes, values, beliefs, customs, language, rituals, ceremonies, and practices

characteristic 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.

6. Least restrictive/least intrusive

Services take place in settings that are the most appropriate and natural for the child and family.

These services are the least restrictive and intrusive available to meet the needs of the child and



Click below for a Printable Version of CASSP Principles

CASSP Principles

© 2021 CONCERN - Professional Services for Children, Youth, and Families

Corporate Office
One West Main Street, Fleetwood, PA 19522
(610) 944-0445

In Association with Amazon.com

Click above to order through Amazon.com. Any items purchased through this website on Amazon.com result in a rebate to CONCERN.