Systems of Care is a philosophy of how care should be delivered to children with complex emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs. Many of these children might have traditionally been served in out-of-home settings, like residential treatment centers, group homes, and psychiatric hospitals. Through programs based on the Systems of Care philosophy, many children are able to remain in their homes, schools, and communities.
The Systems of Care philosophy promotes services that are youth and family focused, which means the referred youth and their families are involved in identifying their own needs, and the plan to address those needs. The service is delivered through intensive care coordination, also called Wraparound. A Wraparound Facilitator elicits the family’s story and needs, and assists the family in developing a plan. The Wraparound Facilitator helps the family give directions to a “team” regarding the type of help needed. The team is identified by the family, and may include teachers, counselors, pastors, friends, family, as well as mental health professionals serving the family.
At least once a month, the team meets to consider what’s working well, and what’s not working. The family and team make changes to the plan, as needed. In addition to home and community-based services like respite, family/youth peer support, and intensive in-home services, the child may continue to receive traditional mental health services, like outpatient therapy and medication management.
Outcome evaluations of SOC-designed programs have shown the following results:
- Reduced cost of care
- Improved school performance
- More stable living situations
- Reduced suicide attempts
- Decreased contacts with law enforcement
Indiana participates in several Systems of Care initiatives and has been recently recognized for contributing to positive outcomes. Aspire Indiana is an access point for the Children’s Mental Health Initiative, and will soon be an access point for the Wraparound Services Program through the Indiana Division of Mental Health & Addiction. Aspire Indiana’s Wraparound facilitators serve Boone, Hamilton, Madison, and northern Marion counties.