This resource describes the opportunities that exist with coordinating a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) and the school responder model (SRM) to deliver school-based behavioral health services and care provisions. In addition to overlapping needs of youth in the behavioral health and juvenile court systems, there are clear overlaps in the common elements of MTSS and SRM. As schools struggle with meeting the demands of multiple academic and non-academic initiatives, there are potential opportunities for joint coordination of planning and MTSS and SRM implementation, such as: 

  • Both frameworks call for family-school-community partnerships 
  • Both frameworks require that school personnel have access to initial training and ongoing support 
  • Both frameworks require selection and roll-out of evidence-based screening for trauma and behavioral health conditions 
  • Both frameworks require connection to within-school and community-based behavioral health services 

Like comprehensive school mental health using an MTSS framework, SRMs are part of a suite of non-academic supports within a school system. To avoid duplication of effort and promote efficient management and coordination of such services, schools are highly encouraged to engage in shared planning, coordination, and implementation. Engaging in coordination at this level may also allow schools to tap into and integrate multiple funding streams from diverse child-serving systems that likely share a common goal around promoting upstream solutions to prevent deep-end system involvement.  

The National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice (NCYOJ) originally developed and maintained this resource. The NCYOJ was operated by Policy Research, Inc. and operated from 2001 to 2022 and was formerly known as the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. The NCYOJ improved life opportunities for youth through systems and practice improvement initiatives.  

This resource should be viewed as a reference document. It has not been updated since its publication. In addition, this document has not been made 508 compliant. If you would like a 508 compliant version of this document, please email 

This resource was first shared in 2014. 

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