Healing families. Strengthening communities.

Facts about Uplift Family Services’s Wraparound Program

Children’s mental illness and emotional disabilities are a “silent epidemic”
  • 1 in 10 children in the U.S. suffer from some sort of mental health problem. Most common diagnoses are depression and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).*
  • 60% of children with serious mental health needs don’t graduate from high school. Fewer than 10% of public schools have mental health services.*
  • At least 20% of youth in the juvenile justice system suffer from severe mental illness. The number can be as high as 70% if adolescents who have been committed for substance abuse are included.*
  • Research studies have shown that up to 37% of youth exiting the foster care system have been incarcerated at least once and up to 35% are or have been homeless.**

What is Wraparound?

  • Wraparound is an approach to implementing individualized, comprehensive services for youth with complicated multi-dimensional problems (i.e., multiple diagnoses).

Who is served by Wraparound?

  • Nearly half of the children served have a family history of substance abuse. Diagnoses of the youth seen at Uplift Family Services include but are not limited to hyperactivity or impulse control; oppositional defiant disorder; and anger control issues.
  • Risk behaviors include fighting, stealing, vandalism, running away, self-mutilation, fire setting, etc.

Does Wraparound work?

  • Of youth served, 93% are safely living in a community setting when they graduate, vs. 82% nationally.
  • A sample of young people served by Wraparound programs demonstrated sustained positive outcomes six months post-discharge from services. Eighty percent were in home, 85% were in school, and 77% were out of trouble–that is had no contact with law enforcement.

A brief history of Wraparound legislation in California

  • In July 1996, after 3 years of intensive effort by Uplift Family Services and its partners (the Social Services Agency, Department of Mental Health and Probation, and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors), Gov. Pete Wilson signed into law AB 2297 which authorized a pilot project for California’s first Wraparound program.
  • In 1998, Gov. Wilson signed SB 163 (California Title IV-E Child Welfare Waiver) a 5-year pilot for flexible use of RCL 12-14 foster care funding statewide. Wraparound was authorized throughout California.
  • In August 2000, Gov. Gray Davis signed AB 2706 to expand the group of children eligible (RCL 10-14) for Wraparound services as an alternative to institutional care.
  • In August 2001, Gov. Davis signed AB 429 that removed the sunset on SB 163 and made Wraparound a permanent program in California.

A brief history of Wraparound in the United States

Late 1960s to 1970s: early precedents:

  • Brownsdale programs, Canada (John Brown)
  • Kaleidoscope, Chicago (Karl Dennis)

1985: Alaska Youth Initiative or AYI (John VanDenBerg)

Late 1980s: three replications of AYI in Vermont, Idaho and Washington State

1990s: Center for Mental Health Services offers grants

  • practice principles, values and standards for service collaboration across child and family serving systems

1997: California Title IV-E Child Welfare Waiver demonstration project

1998: California SB 163 project

  • defines best practices principles, values, practices and standards for service integration across child and family serving systems


*Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, Report on Mental Health, January 2001

** U.S. General Accounting Office, “Foster Care: Long Standing Barriers Remain”, June 2002

Dept. of Health & Human Services, “Promising Practices in Children’s Mental Health”, 1998

Uplift Family Services

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