State Support

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For more in-depth information on this aspect of implementation:

As described in the other sections of this guide to implementation support, Wraparound implementation requires attention to a many details. Each community or Wraparound initiative needs to accomplish a set of core implementation tasks in various areas, such as bringing stakeholders together to oversee the initiative, funding the Wraparound effort, hiring and training staff, tracking implementation quality and outcomes, and so on.
This section, still in development, presents resources relevant to state-level support to Wraparound implementation. Topics include:

  1. What types of fiscal structures can states establish to support local Wraparound implementation?
  2. What types of legislation and state action have states used to support Wraparound?

1. Fiscal Options for State Leaders

In many states, state-level leaders have spurred the development of community capacity for Wraparound by developing incentives for implementation.  Examples of these incentives include:

  • Redirecting existing funds.  One option available on a state level is to create new opportunities for local communities to support Wraparound by using existing funds from existing funding streams.  For example, some states have chosen to create avenues so that local jurisdictions can spend what would have been spent on residential care on Wraparound infrastructure.  This typically involves one of two scenarios: (1) redirecting the state and county share of the residential budget, or (2) pursuing some sort of federal waiver that allows for spending certain federal funding sources more flexibly. 
  • Making grants.  Some state leaders will provide grant funds to local jurisdictions and providers to build a core Wraparound capacity.  In some cases, this grant making will involve funding the entire project including staff costs, program costs, and projected service costs and often, flexible funds costs.
  • Building incentives.  Many state leaders find they don’t have the funds for fully funding Wraparound capacity, and they also worry that using a grants to promote Wraparound development may undermine the sustainability of the projects that are created with temporary funding. As a result, some states have used an approach in which they provide incentives to local jurisdictions to begin to build Wraparound capacity.  This frequently involves supporting some initial staffing needs, such as a local project coordinator or Wraparound facilitators, or creating some seed funds for the development of a flexible fund pool that can be used to secure other local commitments.

The following table provides more details on the advantages and disadvantages of each of the above state-level options for funding local Wraparound initiatives.

Options for Funding Wraparound Capacity:
Strategies for State Leadership
Option Description Advantages Disadvantages
Redirecting Existing Funding In this option, existing funding streams are redirected to creating Wraparound capacity in local communities.  This might require a legislative change that allows certain budgetary lines to be redirected (as in the case AB 1741 or SB 163 in California) or creates redirection through administrative rule changes. Local jurisdictions make a choice to stop something in order to build something else, clarifies Wraparound as more than just an option

Assures sustainable funding streams by redirecting existing resources rather than creating new resources

Often requires formal action such as legislative or formal rule change

Can take more time

Some communities may not come on board as they can’t imagine losing some existing capacity to build this new capacity

Making Grants This typically involves providing funding for the entire Wraparound operation, including personnel, programmatic and individual family costs. Full-service funding can allow projects to begin without having to scrimp, save and cut corners.

Reluctant or slow implementers may jump on board faster because of the presence of full funding from grant sources

May be difficult to keep it going after the grant funding is done

Reduces incentives for local agencies and partners to work together to build local capacity, because funds are provided from an external source

Local project may not feel “ownership” – rather, it is owned by the funding source

Building Incentives This strategy involves the state developing some sort of incentive to subsidize Wraparound project development.  This limited funding is typically designed to assist with initial outlay of development costs including personnel or flexible funding costs.  (Examples of this model can be found in states such as Michigan and Wisconsin with their early efforts to create capacity for flexible, collaborative, community based programming.) Creates seed money so local jurisdictions can get started

Allows states to monitor development closely to assure the Wraparound project is compatible with customary Wraparound expectations

Can stimulate cross-site development by bringing seed projects together from time to time

May not fully address the issue of how to build adequate capacity for full Wraparound implementation

Approach of providing circumscribed and limited incentives may cause the project to “get lost in the shuffle” of other funding streams and projects, restricting momentum toward fully supported Wraparound


2. Examples of State Action on Behalf of Wraparound

Some examples of state legislation and other state supports to Wraparound in the above areas are provided below.

Redirecting existing funding.

  • In 1997, Wraparound was established in California under Senate Bill (SB) 163 (Chapter 795, Statutes of 1997) which allows California counties to develop the Wraparound Model using State and county Aid to Families with Dependent Children -Foster Care (AFDC-FC) dollars. This legislation permits counties to use the Wraparound funding for planning and services delivery instead of use for placements of children/youth in high-end group homes (Rate Classification Level (RCL) 12-14.) For a summary of SB 163, and a link to the bill itself, click here.

Making grants.

  • In 2007, the Washington Legislature passed Second Substitute House Bill 1088, which declared an intent to substantially improve the delivery of children’s mental health services in Washington state, established an Evidence-Based Practices Institute, and provided that educational service district boards may respond to a request for proposal for operation of a Wraparound model site under this act and, if selected, may contract for the provision of services to coordinate care and facilitate the delivery of services and other supports under a Wraparound model. View a summary of HB 1088 with links to the bill itself.
  • In Massachusetts, The Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative is an interagency initiative of the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services whose mission is to strengthen, expand and integrate Massachusetts state services into a comprehensive, community-based system of care, to ensure that families and their children with significant behavioral, emotional and mental health needs obtain the services necessary for success in home, school and community. The CBHI provides funds to over 30 local Community Service Agencies to implement core elements of the Initiative, including the Wraparound process.

Building incentives.

The information on this page has been peer reviewed through the NWI.