Connecticut Family and Community Partnership Wraparound Initiative
A Project of the SAMHSA-funded Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant (MHT-SIG)
Overview: The Connecticut Family and Community Partnership Wraparound Initiative was designed to demonstrate high quality Wraparound in one urban and one nonurban community in Connecticut through comprehensive training, consultation, technical assistance and evaluation. Wraparound is an evidence-based planning process that is strengths-based and family-driven and designed to meet families’ needs through the Child and Family Team (CFT) meeting process. The communities involved included Bridgeport and Greater Bristol-Farmington Valley.
Need: Community KidCare legislation enacted in Connecticut in 2001 was intended to build a family-centered, community-based system of services and supports so that children could remain in their own homes, schools, and communities, and the state would be less reliant on expensive and often less effective out-of-home care. New services were added to the statewide service array, existing services were expanded, and efforts were made to train service providers and families in the philosophies of Wraparound and community-based care. However, insufficient resources, training, infrastructure and supervision resulted in a system of care in which Wraparound was not fully implemented or supported. This Wraparound Initiative was intended to build upon these efforts to meet the needs of families and to improve the system by implementing a more comprehensive and sustained effort at workforce development.
- To train and coach staff from multiple systems (e.g., behavioral health, child welfare, juvenile justice, schools) and youth and family members to apply the principles and practices of Wraparound.
- To promote youth and family involvement in all aspects of the Wraparound process.
- To improve collaboration between multiple systems in order to remove barriers for families and to deliver care based on the needs of the child and family.
- To reduce juvenile justice involvement by diverting youth at-risk of initial or further involvement with this system into appropriate community-based services and supports.
Activities: The four key components of the Initiative included: 1) Infrastructure Development and Technical Assistance; 2) Training and Coaching; 3) Youth and Family Involvement; and 4) Quality Assurance.
Initiative activities were customized to best serve the needs of each community. Infrastructure development and leadership support were provided to each community through consultation and logistical support. A series of introductory and follow-up trainings in Wraparound principles, values, and practices were presented to a diverse group of community representatives, including youth and parents. To help reinforce training content and improve implementation skills, monthly coaching sessions provided the opportunity for in-depth supervision and peer-to-peer interaction. Youth and family members were engaged at all levels, including meeting participation, training co-facilitation, and committee and Collaborative leadership roles. Quality assurance data were collected and analyzed to ensure fidelity to the Wraparound process and to assess outcomes for families.
Results: Goals in three of the four key objectives were met or exceeded during the Initiative.
Train staff from multiple systems: Over 800 community stakeholders (the initial goal was 200) across the two communities participated in Collaborative and committee meetings, Wraparound trainings and coaching sessions, and additional Initiative development meetings; 471 completed the 2-day Basic Wraparound training recommended to participate in the Wraparound Child and Family Team process. Each target system was represented:, behavioral health, child welfare, juvenile justice, schools, youth and families. In addition, 10 local trainers and 54 facilitators/coaches were trained for practice improvement sustainability after the Initiative.
Promote youth and family involvement: Active youth and family participation and leadership in all aspects of the Wraparound process were achieved through training attendance, co-training participation, Child and Family Team facilitation, Collaborative and committee leadership roles, support group development, and quality assurance interview participation.
Improve systems collaboration: In both communities, multiple systems are now working together to decrease silos and barriers and to improve outcomes for youth and families through service delivery based on the unique needs and strengths of each family.
Reduce juvenile justice involvement: While longitudinal data are not available, preliminary data and anecdotal evidence suggest that youth with behavioral health needs were successfully diverted from the juvenile justice system into appropriate services and supports.
Current Status: Project extension through September 30, 2011 enabled continuation of primary training, coaching, leadership development, and coordination activities as well as expansion as “Wrap CT” (Wraparound Connecticut) to the other 23 Community Collaboratives across the state. Focus on promoting and increasing youth and family involvement has continued in the Bridgeport and Greater Bristol-Farmington Valley communities. In addition, development is underway of an English/Spanish technical assistance manual and a training manual, building on experiences and lessons learned during the Initiative. An application for additional one-year federal funding to sustain this work was submitted, with potential for additional five more years.