Ask a Wraparound Facilitator

Image courtesy of Vlado at

Image courtesy of Vlado at

What’s the difference between Systems of Care and Wraparound? It seems like the same thing. They can seem like the same thing but they’re not. Systems of Care is a way of providing care. The systems in the community—like the schools, the court, child welfare, mental health, faith organizations—are working together to improve care for families of kids with mental health challenges. This happens through a team of people the family selects to “wrap around” them, building on what’s worked and trying out new ideas for what hasn’t worked. And that takes coordination, which is where the Wraparound Facilitator comes in.

Is a Wraparound Facilitator the same as a Case Manager?

A Wraparound Facilitator is trained by the Department of Mental Health and Addictions in intensive case management with a focus on Wraparound. That means they understand and demonstrate the System of Care philosophy. So, the short answer is…not exactly.

How does a youth qualify for Wraparound?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

They must be between 6 and 18 years of age and struggling with emotional and/or functional impairments that affect their level of functioning at home or in the community.

The family must also be struggling due to the child’s pattern of risky behavior. The child cannot have a primary diagnosis of ADHD, substance abuse, or autism.

If you or someone you know wants more information about eligibility, call the Access Site number at the end of this article. If a youth doesn’t qualify for Wraparound, the Access staff person will try to help with other resources.

I heard that the Wraparound programs pay for residential placements. Is that right?

Image courtesy of photostock at

Image courtesy of photostock at

Once again, the answer is…not exactly. While youth referred for Wraparound will have intense mental health needs, Wraparound is intended to help families keep their kids safe in the community. Sometimes families and even professionals on their teams become frustrated by what seems like lack of progress and feel that residential placement might be a better alternative. It’s the Wraparound Facilitator’s job to help that team stay focused on the treatment plan and a good plan for safety. Wraparound is intended to prevent residential placement.

Why do these Wraparound programs have names with letters? They’re too hard to remember.

We feel your pain. CMHI, CMHW, MFP, PRTF Transition – all confusing names with some of the same letters. We don’t have a good answer for the “Why?” But, you don’t have to try too hard to remember the names. If you have a question about a youth who has qualified or might qualify, just ask about “Wraparound.” We’ll figure out the program part.

liedtke ChristineAbout the Author: Dr. Christine Liedtke is a Psychologist/HSPP at Aspire Indiana. While the beliefs and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Dr. Liedtke, you can learn more about Aspire Indiana at  You can also follow Dr. Liedtke on Twitter @cmliedtke_PsyD.

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