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Our Philosophy


As Wraparound gains popularity and positive outcomes are achieved all over the United States, more research is occurring in pursuit of the designation as an Evidence Based Practice.  Below is a list of current research courtesy of the National Wraparound Initiative:

  • “Wraparound is a team-based planning process intended to provide coordinated, holistic, family-driven care to meet the complex needs of youth who are involved with multiple systems (e.g. mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, special education), at risk of placement in institutional settings, and/or experiencing serious emotional or behavioral difficulties.” (Walker & Bruns, 2008).

  • In 2007, it was estimated that over 100,000 children were enrolled nationally in a well-defined wraparound process. 91% of states in the US have some type of wraparound initiative, with 62% implementing a statewide initiative (Bruns, Sather, & Stambaugh, 2008).

  • In a recent study, Carney and Buttell supported the hypothesis that children receiving wraparound services were less likely to engage in at risk and delinquent behavior. These kids who received services were less likely to have unexcused absences from school, be suspended or expelled from school, run away from home, or get picked up by the police as frequently as the youth who received more conventional services (2003).

  • The first ever “meta-analysis” of the effects of the wraparound process was completed by Jesse Suter of the University of Vermont and Eric Bruns of the University of Washington. Sven studies between 1986 and 2008 that documented the effects of youth receiving wraparound compared to control groups were identified. Outcomes studied in these seven studies were grouped into four categories. Effects in favor of the wraparound group were significant in all four categories and were largest for the category of youth living situation and smaller (but still significant) for mental health outcomes, overall youth functioning, school functioning, and juvenile justice-related outcomes. The overall average effect size across studies was 0.33, which is similar to the average effect size found for evidence based practices implemented in “real world” settings. They concluded, though the published wraparound research base continues to be in a preliminary state of development, controlled research on wraparound is expanding and findings are largely positive (Suter & Bruns, 2009).

  • Michael Rauso and colleagues from the LA County Department of Children and Family Services compared the placement outcomes and associated costs of children who graduated from wraparound in Los Angeles County to similar children who were discharged successfully from residential care settings. Initial analyses found that 58% of youth discharged from wraparound had their case closed to child welfare within 12 months, compared to only 16% of youth discharged from group care. Of those youth who remained in the care of child welfare for the full 12 months follow-up period, youth in the wraparound group experienced significantly fewer out of home placements. Youth in the wraparound group also had significantly fewer total mean days in out of home placements (193 days compared to 290). During the 12-months follow-up, 77% of the Wraparound graduates were placed in less restrictive settings while 70% of children who were discharged from RCL 12-14 were placed in more restrictive environments. Mean post-graduation cost for the wraparound group was found to be $10,737 compared to $27,383 for the group care group. The authors concluded that wraparound was associated with improved outcomes in terms of promoting permanency, maintaining children in their communities and reducing the costs associated with providing this level of care in the community rather than in a residential setting (Rauso, Ly, Lee, & Jarosz, 2009).

Bruns, E. J., & Suter, J. C. (2010). Summary of the wraparound evidence base. In E. J. Bruns & J. S. Walker (Eds.), The resource guide to wraparound. Portland, OR: National Wraparound Initiative.