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Abstract: The Wraparound Milwaukee program was created in 1995 by Milwaukee County, Wisconsin and provides services and treatment to severely emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children and youth. The program utilizes the wraparound philosophy to provide the children and youth it serves with a highly individualized, community and strength-based approach to care. The delivery of services are facilitated by a Care Coordinator who works with the family to choose the right services from Wraparound Milwaukee's network of individual providers and community based organizations. The programs funding is pooled from several state and county agencies. Wraparound Milwaukee's innovative approach to care has brought considerable savings to the county $3,878 per month per child for Wraparound Milwaukee versus $8,000-$10,000 per month per child that the county paid for residential placement. Wraparound Milwaukee has seen positive outcomes in the youth it serves after disenrollment in terms of clinical health indicators as well as other indicators.
This case includes a 10-min. video featuring an interview with Bruce Kamradt, Director of Wraparound Milwaukee, who describes the comprehensive system of care the program provides for children who have very serious emotional, mental health, behavioral needs and their families. Kamradt describes the crisis Wraparound was born out of and the process the care coordinators use to build trust with their clients and provide them with the support they need. The video also includes two short segments (a young boy at a doctor’s visit and a home scene with a mother and her two children) that powerfully illustrate the trauma these children and their families are trying to overcome.
Learning Objective: This case can be used to analyze an innovative, effective, and cost-saving child welfare program that moves away from the traditional method of residential placement for challenged youths. This case can also be used to support a discussion on how to deal with existing challenges within the program and how best to replicate this program's success in other jurisdictions.