Over the last 10 years, the Publicly Funded Family and Child Serving Systems in Lucas County have had ongoing discussions about developing Wraparound as a process for serving inter-system involved children/youth and their families in Lucas County. This discussion has also dovetailed with discussions about developing a well coordinated “System of Care.” In May 2009, Neil Brown, a Wraparound Consultant associated with the National Wraparound Initiative was brought to Lucas County to do a presentation on Wraparound for public system leaders, staff and other stakeholders. Neil Brown gave an overview on Wraparound in terms of “What is it?” “How is it done?” and “How could we do it?” Additionally, we had presentations from Stark County and Butler County that gave us a practical look at how it has been implemented in two different counties.
In May 2009, the Ohio Departments of Mental Health, Youth Services and ODADAS jointly issued a Request for Proposals called the Behavioral Health and Juvenile Justice Grant (BHJJ). The focus of this grant is specifically to reduce commitments of children and youth to the Ohio Department of Youth Services. Mental Health and Recovery Services of Lucas County (MHRSB), Lucas County Juvenile Court (LCJC), NAMI of Greater Toledo, and the Lucas County Family and Children First Council (LCFCFC) worked together to develop and submit a proposal, with MHRSB serving as the lead applicant agency and fiscal agent. We saw this grant as a tremendous opportunity to accomplish two objectives:
1. Develop Multisystemic Therapy for children/youth with identified and diagnosed mental health challenges and involvement with juvenile court. This is very intensive in-home therapeutic services that address the whole family situation.
2. Develop Wraparound on a smaller scale – addressing the BHJJ population – with the long-term goal of expanding Wraparound as our coordination model for intersystem involved children/youth and their families (with the goal of replacing the traditional Cluster model by July 1, 2010).
The implementation of Wraparound has already begun for the BHJJ population with trained Wraparound Facilitators working out of NAMI of Greater Toledo and we are diligently working to plan and prepare for the transition from the traditional Cluster Model (currently called Creative Options) to Wraparound.