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Last Updated: 03/18/2018

 Ask the Advocate with Calvin & Tricia Luker


Question: My child is fourteen years old and labeled emotionally impaired. We really need help in our home and in coordinating all of her services. I feel as if I get different suggestions from the school, the doctors and the people at the Community Mental Health Board. How can I grab control of this fragmented system?

Answer:  As many children and youth with serious emotional disturbance and their families attempt to maneuver through a fragmented, confusing, and overlapping combination of services in education, mental health, health, substance abuse, welfare, youth services, correctional and vocational agencies, they encounter and endure competing definitions, regulations and jurisdictions in a delivery system marked by road blocks. To effectively plan and deliver the necessary educational, mental health, social and other support services to students and their families, coordination among the various agencies involved must increase and improve.

An exciting concept, which is being implemented in Michigan and around the country is called "wraparound" service. This service model is intended to prevent children from being separated from their families and placed in costly out-of-home placements. It is a family and community-based service model that is based on a team approach to meeting the total needs of selected families.

A wraparound intervention is developed and/or approved by an inter-agency services team, is community- based, family focused, cost effective and unconditional. It is centered on the strengths of the child and family, is culturally competent, and includes the delivery of coordinated, highly individualized services
in the areas of basic human needs of a child and family.



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