New York State System of Care Expansion Project Overview

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New York State System of Care Expansion Project

New York State started work in 2016 on an ambitious project to pilot the integration of High-Fidelity Wraparound within Health Homes Serving Children, as a result of a four-year grant award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The NYS Office of Mental Health, along with its partners of state agencies, and family-run and youth-run advocacy organizations, has a goal to reinvigorate the System of Care framework across the state that will support all children and families seeking services.

New York´s High-Fidelity Wraparound Model

New York´s model of High-Fidelity Wraparound is facilitated by a team consisting of a care manager, family peer advocate and youth peer advocate that are jointly trained and certified in the model through a combination of in-person training, topic specific webinars for skill building, individual and group coaching, and documentation review.

The facilitation team uses an intentional, prescribed process to work with a small caseload of children, youth and families to identify the family´s needs, strengths and goals while building informal supports that will be maintained long after the intervention has ended. Designated as an evidence-based practice in 2017, Wraparound has shown significant outcomes across the country in keeping children and youth in their homes and communities.

Wraparound, developed on the foundation of the System of Care framework fits well with the goals of Health Home to integrate care using an interdisciplinary team that focuses on an individualized plan for the child, youth and family.

By the end of its first year of implementation, the project was being planned and/or implemented in seven counties across the State.

The project includes an intensive evaluation, with both national and state measures intended to study both the qualitative and quantitative processes. Additionally, NYS intends to review Medicaid cost data of those in the pilot and those enrolled in Health Home.

The System of Care concept for children and adolescents with mental health challenges and their families was first published in 1986 in an article by Beth Stroul and Robert Friedman. They articulated a definition for a System of Care along with a framework and philosophy to guide its implementation.

The original concept was offered to guide the field in reforming child serving systems, services and supports to better meet the needs of children and youth with serious mental health challenges and their families. The concept has shaped the work of nearly all communities, with at least some elements of the System of Care philosophy and approach found everywhere children and youth with significant mental health challenges are served.

The System of Care concept is a vision with continued potential to transform children´s mental health. During the past two decades, the concept and philosophy have laid the foundation for such transformation. The System of Care approach has already demonstrated significant benefits as evidenced by improvements in systems and in the social and emotional functioning of children, youth and families.

A System of Care is a spectrum of effective, community- based services and supports for children and youth with or at risk for mental health or other challenges and their families, that is organized into a coordinated network, builds meaningful partnerships with families and youth, and addresses their cultural and linguistic needs, to help them to function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life.

There are three core values central to System of Care approaches: being community-based, family driven/youth- guided, and culturally and linguistically competent.