, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 23-37

Wraparound care in vermont: Program development, implementation, and evaluation of a statewide system of individualized services

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Abstract

Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic shift in the provision of mental health services to children, adolescents, and their families. This shift has been marked by a movement away from restrictive treatment options toward the development of comprehensive community-based systems of care designed to keep the most challenging children in their homes, schools, and communities. Based on a model of intensive case management referred to as Wraparound Care, Vermont's statewide approach emphasizes aggressive outreach, use of the least restrictive treatment options, and care that is flexible, unconditional, and child- and family-centered. We chart the development of Vermont's Wraparound Care Initiative and present residential, educational, and behavioral outcome data for a cohort of 40 youth receiving Wraparound Care over a 12-month period. The results showed that after 12-months, youth who had been previously removed from their homes or were at imminent risk of such removal, were residing in significantly less restrictive community-based living arrangements and exhibiting significantly fewer problem behaviors than at intake. These results are discussed in light of recent national studies and previous studies on similar cohorts of Vermont youth receiving Wraparound Care.