The Wraparound Process is an intensive, individualized care management process for youths with serious or complex needs. Wraparound was initially developed in the 1980s as a means for maintaining youth with the most serious emotional and behavioral problems in their home and community. During the wraparound process, a team of individuals who are relevant to the well-being of the child or youth (e.g., family members, other natural supports, service providers, and agency representatives) collaboratively develop an individualized plan of care, implement this plan, and evaluate success over time.
The UW Division of Public Behavioral Health and Justice Policy is a national leader with respect to research on the wraparound model of care coordination for children and families. Led by Associate Professor Eric J. Bruns, Ph.D., the Division implements two NIMH-funded studies of wraparound, co-coordinates the National Wraparound Initiative, and hosts the Wraparound Evaluation and Research Team, which develops and disseminates fidelity measures for the wraparound process such as the Wraparound Fidelity Index (WFI) and the Community Supports for Wraparound Inventory (CSWI).
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Funded Studies
Outcomes of the Wraparound Service Model (NIMH R34 MH072759; Eric J. Bruns, Principal Investigator). The Outcomes of Wraparound in Nevada study is a three-year NIMH-sponsored study being conducted in Clark County, NV, in partnership with the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Social Work and the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services. The study aims to document the behavioral, functional, school, child welfare, and juvenile justice outcomes of N=75 children and youth randomly assigned to the wraparound service model compared to N=75 children and youth randomly assigned to more traditional case management services. The study also is collecting data on wraparound fidelity for both groups, as well as process data such as working alliance with treatment providers, services received, and organizational climate of the provider organizations delivering services. For more details on the study, please view a more extensive study summary, or the most recent study newsletter.
Wraparound Fidelity Assessment System (NIMH R41 MH077356; Eric J. Bruns, Principal Investigator). This NIMH Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant was awarded to the Wraparound Evaluation and Research Team at the UW Division of Public Behavioral Health and Justice Policy and Vroon VanDenBerg, LLP to develop and pilot test a set of implementation fidelity measures for the wraparound process for children and families. For more details on the instruments, please see a description of the components of the WFAS.
The National Wraparound Initiative
The wraparound process is a widely-implemented approach to community-based treatment for children with emotional and behavioral disorders and their families. However, despite a history of practice innovations nationwide, the absence of standards and fully described practice procedures has historically hindered development of a wraparound research base and frustrated providers, administrators, and families. The National Wraparound Initiative is an attempt to engage experts nationally in a process of defining standards and compiling specific strategies for conducting high-quality wraparound.
The NWI is co-coordinated by Eric J. Bruns, Ph. D., of UW DPBHJP and Janet S. Walker, Ph.D., of the Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health at Portland State University. The NWI receives support from the Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch of the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The NWI has produced a number of resources to the field, with the Resource Guide to Wraparound and the Wraparound Process User’s Guide among the most prominent of these. For a description of the NWI’s effort to specify the wraparound model, please see Walker and Bruns' 2006 article in Psychiatric Services.
Wraparound Evaluation and Research Team
The Wraparound Evaluation and Research Team was originally founded by John D. Burchard of the University of Vermont in the 1990s. Now housed at the UW DPBHJP and coordinated by Eric J. Bruns, Ph.D., and April Sather, MPH, “WERT” seeks to improve the lives of children and their families through research on implementation and outcomes of the wraparound process. The primary activity of WERT is the development, refinement, and dissemination of the Wraparound Fidelity Index and other measures that comprise the Wraparound Fidelity Assessment System. As described on the WERT website, the team aims to assist implementation of the wraparound process, evaluate effectiveness, identify the need for technical assistance and training, and promote communication within the service delivery and research and evaluation fields.
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