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Wraparound Services Surround Foster Youth, Families with Help

Aug 19, 2015, Sarah Zahedi, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

The term “wraparound,” coined in the 1980s, refers to helping people who have complex needs via a structured, creative and individualized team planning process. The California Department of Social Services defines wraparound as a planning process that engages a child and his or her family via therapeutic, individualized services to improve their well-being and ensure a safe, stable and permanent family environment.

The National Wraparound Initiative has worked to support these services across the nation for the past 10 years, conducting research on the success of these models and training professionals.

“The whole team works with the family to wrap around the family, wrap around the child and wrap around the community to create the shifts they need to support them,” said Project Permanence Program Director Kim Catanzano.

All the young people who come through Project Permanence suffer from a mental health issue. According to the Child Welfare League of America, anywhere from 40 to 85 percent of kids in foster care have mental health disorders, depending on which report you read.

The wraparound model is far more accommodating to foster youth dealing with trauma and mental health issues than the traditional model of putting youth struggling with permanence into a group home, said Lincoln Child Center CEO Christine Stoner-Mertz.

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Reform areas: Aftercare, Dual status youth

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