Our Coalition

Maryland Coalition of Families (MCF) helps families who have young people with behavioral health needs, including mental health and substance use challenges. Using personal experience as parents, caregivers and young people, we connect, support and empower Maryland’s families.

MCF empowers parents, caregivers and young people by:

  • Helping them navigate services and systems
  • Providing them with tools to advocate
  • Connecting parents, caregivers and young people to each other
  • Ensuring their voice and perspective is heard 
  • Raising public awareness and fighting stigma

Founded by a coalition of family support organizations, MCF was incorporated in 1999 as a nonprofit organization. MCF changed its name from "Maryland Coalition of Families for Children’s Mental Health" to the "Maryland Coalition of Families" in 2016 . MCF is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of at least 51% adult caregivers of a child or adolescent with a diagnosable emotional or behavioral disability. All of our family support staff  are parents who have cared for a child with behavioral health needs and have been trained to help other families. 


Maryland Coalition of Families is the statewide voice for the behavioral health of children and youth and is dedicated to building a family-driven network of information and support, and improving services in all systems of care for children, youth and families.

We Believe

  • Children and youth with behavioral health needs are valued and require individualized services to achieve their full potential.
  • Families are a constant in a child’s life and are equal partners in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of services.
  • Services for children, youth and their families are provided from a strength-based approach and are responsive to the needs of the whole child and entire family.
  • Local and state systems of care are family-driven and culturally and linguistically competent.

Our Values

  • Respect for the dignity and individual differences of each family and the rights of families to make decisions for their children
  • Partnership with providers, policymakers, administrators and other advocacy organizations to improve systems of care for children and youth
  • Responsibility to assist families with understandable, complete and accurate information
  • Commitment to empower families through support, training and education
  • Accountability to families, the community, and to funders for the performance of quality of services and supports provided by the Coalition
  • Cultural and linguistic competence in the delivery of programs and services