Wraparound Services in Mental Health
Mental health wraparound services are a wonderful way for the mental health care community to care for children who experience mental health or behavioral challenges and their families.
This innovative approach brings people together and provides all parties involved with the support they need and to ensure that all the needs of the family and child are met so that mental health and behavioral goals can be met, too.
In the past, mental health issues in children were traditionally treated using a science-based, counseling-focused approach only. This still works for some children in crisis, but it doesn’t work for everyone.
Wraparound services symbolize a movement towards a new kind of aid for youth. Through these methods, the focus is not only on the child but on the child’s entire family. It builds on the goals and strengths of the family unit to help the child and, in turn, the entire family.
Read on to learn more.
Families Need Wraparound Services
Many young people and their families today face countless challenges. Sadly, many homes and families in our country today experience issues like poverty, family disharmony, unemployment, illness and disease, lack of food, violence in neighborhoods, domestic violence, and so much more.
These challenges can be overwhelming when faced one at a time, but many families experience more than one simultaneously.
When, on top of that, a child experiences mental or behavioral health challenges as well, it may seem impossible to move forward. Facing and overcoming these difficulties may seem insurmountable for some.
Wraparound services recognize that families face many challenges every day. This method of care also recognizes that all families have their own goals and strengths.
These should be embraced and harnessed to help the family thrive together as one, which will help the child who experiences behavioral or mental health challenges in countless ways.
Who Is Eligible for Wraparound Services?
Participation in a wraparound services program is optional and voluntary. In most cases, a mental health professional who is already familiar with the child’s issues, family, and needs will identify the need for a wraparound services plan.
Families eligible for this type of program include a child who has mental health or behavioral issues that interfere with the functioning of the family or participation in school or community activities.
Often, the child is already at risk of being placed in a residential psychiatric treatment facility.
The goal of wraparound services is to keep the child in the home with his or her family.
How Wraparound Services Work
The process of engaging a family in a wraparound services program is simple. The length of time each family will use these services varies and will differ from family to family and situation to situation. However, the process is linear for all participants.
Step One: Determine Needs
Once it is apparent that a family could benefit from wraparound services and all parties agree to give it a try, a team is assembled to facilitate the delivery of services.
Each team will have a coordinator to work with the child and the family to determine what the family needs. All family members will have a voice in the process. The coordinator will make sure all participants are on board with changes and decisions.
Step Two: Create a Plan
After discussing the family’s needs, the coordinator will reconvene with the support team to create a plan.
This plan will be based not only on the needs of the family but on the strengths of each member as well. It will also incorporate the use of community-based mental health services to offer support.
Step Three: Evaluate and Adjust the Plan as Needed
In order to reach the child’s goals, the plan will then be put into action. The family and the team will meet on a very regular basis to review the plan and to discover what is working well and what is not.
If the plan is not working, the team will develop new strategies to help the family and their child.
Step Four: Success and Transition
This process will continue until progress on the child’s goals is evident. Once the intended outcomes are reached on a regular and ongoing basis, the family can begin to transition out of the wraparound services program.
Benefits of Wraparound Service Programs
It’s clear that wraparound service programs can be a great help to families with children in behavioral or mental health crises. The benefits of this sort of comprehensive care are numerous and immense.
Many families embrace this type of program because it focuses on the strengths of the family and on the strengths of each individual family member.
It gives everyone in the family a voice and an opportunity to participate in finding solutions and in reaching both short and long-term goals.
Further, wraparound service programs are outcome-based. Although services like counseling and support groups are undoubtedly vital components in mental health treatment, the lack of clear, concrete, visible outcomes can be challenging for many.
On the other hand, wraparound service programs set solid, attainable, achievable goals, and when they are reached it is clear to everyone involved.
Most importantly, wraparound services are personalized. The administration of these services takes a big step away from the one-size-fits-all style of treatment. It takes into account the family’s needs, culture, resources, and preferences, and helps to create independence, confidence, and stability in the families that voluntarily choose to participate.
Wraparound Services Empower Families
As you can see, wraparound services can be very helpful and powerful to families who need them. No family wants to have to send their child away for inpatient care if it can be avoided.
Wraparound services are an intervention that, in many cases, keeps that from happening.
They allow families to play an active role in helping their children to overcome the mental health and behavioral obstacles they face. It’s likely that wraparound services will become more common and widespread moving forward from here.
If you believe your family may be one that is a candidate for wraparound services in San Diego, please contact us. The helpful staff at Solara can help lead you in the right direction to get the help that you need.