Our Coalition

Maryland Coalition of Families (MCF) helps families who care for someone with behavioral health needs. Using personal experience as parents, caregivers, youth and other loved ones, we connect, support and empower Maryland’s families. Our staff provide one-to-one support to parents and caregivers of young people with mental health issues and to any loved one who cares for someone with a substance use or gambling issue.

MCF empowers parents, caregivers, youth and other loved ones by:

  • Helping them navigate services and systems
  • Providing them with tools to advocate
  • Connecting parents, caregivers, young people and other loved ones 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 loved one with behavioral health needs and have been trained to help other families. 

Using our personal experience caring for loved ones with behavioral health needs, we connect, support and empower Maryland’s families and advocate to improve systems that impact individuals with behavioral health challenges.
For children, youth and adults with behavioral health challenges we envision wellness and a stigma-free community that values the perspective of loved ones.

We Believe

  • Children, youth and adults with behavioral health needs are valued and require individualized services to achieve their full potential.
  • Parents and caregivers are a constant in a child’s life and are equal partners in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of services.
  • People with behavioral health needs do best when loved ones are active partners in their care.
  • Effective services for people and families should build on their identified strengths and be responsive to their needs.
  • Local and state systems of care must be culturally and linguistically competent and respectful of the person with behavioral health needs and their loved ones.
  • Recovery is possible. 

Our Values

  • We respect the dignity and individual differences of each family.
  • We honor the rights of parents and caregivers to make decisions for their children.
  • We work in partnership with providers, policymakers, administrators and other advocacy organizations to improve systems that touch individuals with behavioral health challenges.
  • We are responsible for providing families with understandable, complete and accurate information.
  • We are committed to self-empowerment of loved ones through support, training and education.
  • We are accountable to families, the community and to funders for the performance and quality of services and supports provided by MCF.
  • We respect cultural and linguistic differences among those we serve.