Wraparound Milwaukee is an effective wraparound service delivery program that integrates the mental health, juvenile justice, and other systems to address the mental health needs of juvenile justice system clientele (average age 14–15) and parental problems at the same time. It began by successfully providing services to youth and their families in the mental health system. Now it is a county-operated collaborative that provides comprehensive care to youth referred from both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems and their families. Wraparound Milwaukee serves as the hub of a comprehensive system linking several human service agencies, thus forming a managed-care continuum of treatment options. The program currently serves more than 650 youth, 400 of whom are adjudicated delinquent.
The program components deemed essential to the success of the Wraparound Milwaukee program are as follows:
The use of blended funding has been particularly important to the success of the Wraparound Milwaukee program. The project is sustained by pooled funds that come from the system partners in this integrated, multiservice approach to meeting the needs of youths and their families. The fact that the involved agencies share the expenses of the program helps enormously to break down barriers to system integration. The program receives a flat monthly fee for each client and must pay for all treatment services, including incarceration and residential care. In 1999, the program received more than $26 million in pooled funds. After all funds are pooled and “decategorized,” the program can use them to cover any services that families need, in a mix of formal and informal services. This approach helps ensure that the most appropriate services are purchased. Project staff thus have an incentive to keep as many youth as possible in their homes. The program has shown delinquency reductions among clients in a before-after study.
The Wraparound Milwaukee program has achieved notable results over its 14-year history and reports significant cost-savings.
Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice, American Institutes for Research: Promising program structure
National Gang Center and OJJDP Model Programs Guide: Promising program
Harvard University Kennedy School of Government: Innovations in American Government Award, 2009
Mr. Bruce Kamradt
9201 Watertown Plank Road
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
Phone: (414) 257-7639
Fax: (414) 257-7575
Burns, B. J.; Goldman, S. K.; Faw, L.; and Burchard, J. (1999). “The Wraparound Evidence Base.” In B. J. Burns and S. K. Goldman (eds.), Promising Practices in Wraparound for Children With Serious Emotional Disturbances and Their Families. Systems of Care: Promising Practices in Children’s Mental Health, 1998 Series, Vol. 4. Washington, DC: Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice, American Institutes for Research, pp. 77–100.
Kamradt, B. (2000). “Wraparound Milwaukee: Aiding Youth With Mental Health Needs.” Juvenile Justice, 7(1):14–23.