Wraparound and FFPSA… One Year Later
March 10, 2023 | NWI
It is hard to believe it has been over a year since “Intensive Care Coordination Using a High Fidelity Wraparound Process” (i.e., Wraparound or High Fidelity Wraparound ) was added to the inventory of research supported programs by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse. This made Wraparound eligible for Title IV-E reimbursement under the Family First Prevention Service Act (FFPSA).
Since this announcement, the trainers, consultants, and evaluators working under the auspices of the National Wraparound Initiative, National Wraparound Implementation Center, and the newly relocated Innovations Institute at the University of Connecticut, have been increasingly fielding requests from states and Wraparound provider organizations for help. States who included Wraparound in their FFPSA five year plans are now realizing that meeting federal expectations for evaluation and continual quality assurance may need to be more stringent and specific than expected.
As detailed in our guidance document on how to meet FFPSA evaluation and CQI requirements, state or local evaluations of Wraparound do not need to meet criteria for a rigorous experiment (e.g., random assignment or comparable comparison group). However, evaluation plans do need to be capable of providing meaningful information that can help keep the state and/or local providers on track, in areas such as:
- Population of focus: Are youth and families being served consistent with the goals for the program?
- Implementation: Are necessary system and program supports that ensure successful implementation and outcomes (e.g., staffing ratios, timely engagement, workforce training) in place?
- Is adequate quality and fidelity of Wraparound being achieved?
- Are families experiencing positive outcomes? Are youth “at home, in school, and out of trouble”? Are core child welfare outcomes of safety, stability, and permanency being promoted?
The Wraparound Evaluation and Research team at University of Washington has been thrilled to provide support to several state roll-outs under FFPSA. Similarly, NWIC is aiding states to develop strategic plans that will result in hospitable system and provider contexts for Wraparound, and offering technical assistance and training for the workforce.
If your state has included Wraparound in its FFPSA plan (or is planning to do so), here are a few resources and things to remember with respect to evaluation and implementation:
- Convene state-wide (and local) oversight groups as early as possible that include relevant partners in the effort (leaders from all relevant systems, provider organizations, family and youth leaders, community organizations). This group should collectively design the state strategy and evaluation plan, review data, and make mid-course corrections.
- Consult tip sheets from the Administration for Children and Families and our own NWI guidance for basic ideas.
- To aid in fidelity, satisfaction, and outcomes monitoring, UW WERT’s new WrapStat system and measures of the Wraparound Fidelity Assessment System are well validated and helpful in staying on track.
- Do not hesitate to reach out for help! NWIC and UW WERT are always here to provide assistance on system design, workforce development, and evaluation.