Effectiveness of wraparound versus case management for children and adolescents: Results of a randomized study.


In this study, we compared service experiences and outcomes for youths with serious emotional disorder (SED) randomly assigned to care coordination via a defined wraparound process (n = 47) versus more traditional intensive case management (ICM; n = 46) The wraparound group received more mean hours of care management and services; however, there ultimately were no group differences in restrictiveness of residential placement, emotional and behavioral symptoms, or functioning. Wraparound implementation fidelity was found to be poor. Organizational culture and climate, and worker morale, were poorer for the wraparound providers than the ICM group. Results suggest that, for less-impaired youths with SED, less intensive options such as ICM may be equally effective to poor-quality wraparound delivered in the absence of wraparound implementation supports and favorable system conditions.