Training Toolkit for Systems-Based Practice

Developed by: AACAP's Systems of Care Committee
Approved by Council: October 2009


AACAP’s Systems-Based Practice Training Modules originally were developed as printable documents (PDF).  To support interactive learning, AACAP’s Systems-Based Practice Training Modules have been adapted to an online format in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Social Work and The Institute for Innovation and Implementation.  The two formats are intended to complement each other.  We recommend starting with the web-based versions, then using the printable versions to deepen your knowledge and understanding.  The supervignettes and Beyond Private Practice webinars are helpful for further learning how to apply what you learn about Systems Based Practice. 

AACAP’s Systems-Based Practice Training Modules - Online Training Modality

Access to this modality can be obtained through the “Ideas @ The Institute” learning management system: Access Ideas @ The Institute 

Please refer to the Ideas @ The Institute enrollment guide for specific instructions on accessing their learning portal

AACAP’s Systems-Based Practice Training Modules - Printable PDFs

The tool kit is organized into fourteen modules, each covering an important component of systems-based practice. Two types of modules are included. Process modules discuss an important process for the child and adolescent psychiatrist to understand and consider in systems based practice. System modules discuss the basic elements of individual child-serving systems in the U.S. and the potential roles of the child and adolescent psychiatrist working with and in these systems. Each module contains learning objectives, core information in handout form and case vignettes.

Process Modules

  1. Systems-Based Practice Overview (Revised January 2020)
  2. Consultation (Revised January 2020)
  3. Family-Driven, Youth-Guided Care (Revised January 2020)
  4. Cultural Considerations in Systems-Based Practice (Revised April 2020)
  5. Organizational and Financial Structures in Mental Health Systems (Revised March 2020)

System Modules

  1. Education System (Revised January 2020)
  2. Child Welfare System (Revised March 2020) 
  3. Juvenile Justice System (Revised April 2020)
  4. Primary Health Care System (Revised May 2020)
  5. Mental Health System (Revised April 2020)
  6. Developmental Disabilities System (Revised February 2020)
  7. Substance Abuse Treatment Services System (Revised May 2020)
  8. Early Childhood Services System (Revised April 2020)
  9. Responding to Natural Disasters (New July 2020)

For more information on the use of the toolkit please see the Trainer Guide and the Resident Guide.


The supervignettes are designed to test residents' knowledge after studying the modules on systems-based practice. Both vignettes provide questions that cover topics from the process and system modules. To receive the answers and scoring sheets, please contact

  1. Celia
  2. James

Beyond Private Practice Webinar Series

The Beyond Private Practice webinar series was organized by AACAP’s committee on Community-Based Systems of Care and sponsored by the Center for Mental Health (CMHS). The series was created with the intention of educating child and adolescent psychiatrists (primarily residents and ECP) about potential roles and job opportunities within the systems of care. Go to our webinar page.

This toolkit is a living document. If you have any suggestions, changes, additions you think would improve the training, please forward your comments to

Thank you to AACAP’s Systems of Care Committee, training directors, residents, and all other individuals who contributed to this tool kit. A complete list of contributors and reviewers can be found here.