Wraparound Services: 360-Degree Support for Youth with Greater Behavioral Health Needs
Although childhood is typically perceived as a time of carefree happiness, children and adolescents can also face many challenges to their mental health.
For starters, many youth contend with difficult home issues like poverty, lack of food, poor family harmony, and even domestic violence. On top of these difficulties, about one in six children in the U.S. must also cope with a developmental disability such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, or other intellectual and learning disabilities. Finally, about half of all mental disorders start before or during the teenage years, further complicating life for youth who have them.
When a youth’s behavioral health needs are relatively mild or moderate, interventions such as individual therapy or counseling, family therapy, or skills training can be sufficient to help them address whatever challenges they may face. However, sometimes a child or teen needs a greater level of support to account for severe or very complicated behavioral health difficulties. In these cases, “wraparound” services may be the best option.
Comprehensive Support for Complex Challenges
Wraparound services (also referred to as “wrap services” or “the wraparound process”) are intensive care programs specialized for the specific needs of each consumer. They comprise the highest level of care provided by community mental health agencies, and they are the last option before a youth is removed from their home for treatment purposes.
In Indiana, wraparound services are funded by the Department of Child Services (DCS) and the FSSA’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA), and children between the ages of 6 and 18 are eligible. Because the entire family tends to be involved in situations of this kind, wraparound services may be extended to everyone in the household.
Regardless of the exact services provided, the wraparound process is always guided by four key principles of care:
- Grounded in an inner strengths perspective: service providers assume that every individual possesses valuable inner strengths that can help them thrive in life if they are developed and applied
- Family voice and choice: all family members have a say in their care and can choose how they would like services to proceed
- Strengths-based: service providers aspire to identify each individual’s constructive life skills and nurture their development—not fixate on personal shortcomings
- Outcomes-based: all services are designed to work toward a positive end result as defined by family members and care providers
How Wraparound Services Create Outcomes for Youth and Families
The overall goal of wraparound services is to address whatever challenges a youth is facing without removing them from their normal home environment. With this in mind, efforts are also made to make services as unobtrusive as possible to a child or teen’s daily life.
By surrounding a youth with various types and levels of support, wraparound services can effectively treat complex behavioral health issues during childhood and adolescence. Most importantly, their focus on helping the whole family lowers the chances that problems will resurface in the future—and keeps youth in the home and community environments where they are loved and feel most comfortable.
Looking for more information about the types of services provided at Cummins Behavioral Health? You might enjoy our blog posts on employment services and substance use disorder services below!