Sheila A. Pires

Sheila A. Pires is a founding partner of the Human Service Collaborative of Washington, D.C., a policy and technical assistance group specializing in child and family service systems. Pires has over 35 years of experience in national, state, and local government and nonprofit agencies serving children, youth, and families involved in child welfare, juvenile justice, and behavioral health systems. She has held senior staff and management positions in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the Carter White House. She co-chaired the children’s mental health and substance abuse committee of President Clinton’s Task Force on Health Care Reform, and co-authored the children’s issue brief and policy recommendations for President Bush’s New Freedom Mental Health Commission.

In the Obama Administration, she was invited to present on children’s behavioral health at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Grand Rounds. She serves as the senior consultant to the Children in Managed Care and Child Health Quality Programs at the Center for Health Care Strategies, where she is involved with the Quality Collaborative on Improving the Use of Psychotropic Medications among Children in Foster Care, and is also a core partner of the National Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Behavioral Health, co-hubbing the Network’s focus on the organization and financing of delivery systems. Pires served as deputy commissioner of social services for the District of Columbia and also led a reorganization of the city’s child mental health system as head of child mental health services. She has consulted with most states, as well as counties, cities, neighborhoods, and family organizations, and has authored numerous publications on systems change, including Making Medicaid Work for Children in Child Welfare and Building Systems of Care: A Primer.

Selected Professional Positions

1971-76 | Legislative Assistant and Staff Director, Office of Congressman Lester L. Wolff, U.S. House of Representatives

1979-81 | Special Assistant to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare

1979-81 | Senior Staffing Specialist, Office of Presidential Personnel, The White House

1982-83 | Director of Learning and Replication, Act Together, Inc. (national youth services organization)

1984-87 | Acting Administrator, Child/Youth Services Administration, and Children’s Coordinator, Mental Health System Reorganization Office, District of Columbia

1988-89 | Deputy Commissioner of Social Services, District of Columbia

1990-Present | Founding Partner, Human Service Collaborative (a policy and technical assistance group)

Selected Positions, Honors, and Committees

Member, National Advisory Board, National Wraparound Initiative (2010-Present)

Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Systems of Care for Children’s Mental Health Series, Paul H. Brookes Publishing (2010-Present)

Member, National Advisory Board, National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (2010-2012)

Consultant, President Bush’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (2002-2003)

Member, President Clinton’s Task Force on Health Care Reform (1993)

Board Member, Bell Multicultural High School (a public-private high school serving youth with immigrant experience) (1988-1998)

Special Consultant on State System Development, Child and Family Support Branch, National Institute of Mental Health (1987)

Selected Presentations, Training, and Teaching

“Using Medicaid health homes with wraparound to serve youth with complex behavioral health needs,” National Wraparound Initiative (Webinar) (2013)

“At home, in school with better care at lower costs: How to implement innovative fiscal, administrative and clinical approaches for youth with complex needs,” Annual Child Mental Health Policy and Research Conference, Tampa Fla. (2013)

“Care management entities: Customizing care for children with serious behavioral health challenges and their families,” Georgetown University System of Care Training Institutes (2012)

“Strategic financing for children’s behavioral health and systems of care: Health reform and other financing opportunities”, Georgetown University System of care Training Institutes (2012)

“Financing children’s behavioral health services,” National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health Annual Conference (2012)

“Maximizing opportunities to increase child and family well-being through innovative funding approaches,” U.S. Administration on Children and Families Summit on Psychotropic Medications and Children in Foster Care (2012)

“Financing strategies for expanding systems of care and implications of health reform” System of Care Expansion Grantees Conference Plenary (2011)

“Strategic financing for children and families in vulnerable situations”, 27th Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental health (2011)

“Building and sustaining systems of care,” New Systems of Care Federal Grantees Meeting (2010)

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications, White Papers, and Selected Reports

Pires, S.A. (2013). Customizing health homes for children with serious behavioral health challenges (commissioned by SAMHSA), Human Service Collaborative and Center for Health Care Strategies.

Pires, S.A. (2010). Building systems of care: A primer, 2nd edition, Georgetown University

Pires, S.A. (2008). Building systems of care: Critical structures and processes, The System of Care  Handbook, Paul H. Brookes Publishing

Pires, S.A. (2008). Building systems of care: A primer for child welfare, Georgetown University

Pires, S.A. & Wood, G. (2007). Effective financing strategies to finance family and youth partnerships, University of South Florida

Pires, S.A. & Grimes K.E. (2006). Clinical decision-making approaches in public sector managed care, University of South Florida

Pires, S.A. (2002). Promising managed care design and financing approaches for children with behavioral health challenges and their families, University of South Florida

Pires, S.A. (2001). Serving children with special needs in a managed care environment, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.

Pires, S.A. (1996). The role of the state in systems development, Systems of Care for Children and Adolescents with Severe Emotional Problems: Issues for the 1990s, Paul H. Brookes Publishing