Michigan Initiative Helps Children with Emotional Disturbances

From 1994 to 1997, under the Michigan Interagency Family Preservation Initiative, the State of Michigan Department of Mental Health, Lansing, Mich., piloted innovative models for serving children and families, particularly children with serious emotional disturbances.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson's (RWJF) national program Mental Health Services Program for Youth Replication.

In 17 sites covering 22 counties, the project supported the development of individualized family service planning processes to develop unique treatment and support plans for each child and family served that are comprehensive, family centered, culturally sensitive, and community-based, which are often called wraparound plans.

Key Results

  • Training was provided in the use of setting case rates and in developing management information systems for operation in a managed care environment.
  • Training and technical assistance was provided to various sites around the state including participants from juvenile justice, education, child welfare, mental health, public health, parents, and other community members.
  • Two integrated components to the software for operation of wraparound in a case-rate managed care setting were developed, and an automated plan of care was tied into a financial management section.
  • Some 389 children were served in 1996; 56 percent were referred for abuse and neglect; 55 percent for delinquency; 20 percent for substance abuse, and 54 percent for emotional disturbance.
    • The children had an average length in service of 12 months.
    • None of the children served had a substantiated abuse/neglect complaint following wraparound services.
  • Evaluation results showed that these pilots not only reduced the days of care in institutions for children enrolled in the wraparound case-rate pilot project, but they also reduced county out-of-home placements.