Theory Meets Practice: The Localization of Wraparound Services for Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbance
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This study identified statewide variation in implementation of wraparound for children on the severe emotional disturbance (SED) Waiver in Kansas. SED Waivers allow Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) to offer an array of community-based services to high risk youth. Qualitative methods, including interviews, reviews of charts and billing records, and a survey, were employed. Stratified random sampling was used to select seven CMHCs, and random sampling was used to select individual cases for interviews. Although CMHCs shared similar wraparound philosophy and service initiation processes, each developed their own localized wraparound model within the confines of Medicaid eligibility and documentation rules. Eight models for wraparound team composition were identified. Findings demonstrate implementation of wraparound with fidelity to a central model is difficult on a large scale. The balance of standardized wraparound practices, localized innovations, and agency compliance with Medicaid is essential for optimizing children’s mental health services.
KeywordsWraparound Children’s mental health Serious emotional disturbance Community mental health
This study was supported through a research contract with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.
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