From the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Ash Institute - Website

Since 1986, the Innovations in American Government Awards has recognized over 400 public sector initiatives that forward innovative practices that benefit citizens.  

Chosen from an initial pool of nearly 700 applicants, the National Selection Committee used the following criteria to determine the 2009 Innovations winners:

  • Novelty – Degree to which the program demonstrates a leap of creativity
  • Significance – Degree to which the program successfully addresses an important problem of public concern
  • Effectiveness – Degree to which the program has achieved tangible results
  • Transferability – Degree to which the program, or aspects of it, shows promise of inspiring successful replication by other governmental entities
Wraparound Milwaukee Achievements  

The program has achieved notable results over its 14-year history and reports significant cost-savings.

  • In 2007, the average monthly cost to place a youth at a traditional Wisconsin treatment center was over $8,000. Due to Wraparound’s lessened use of residential options, Wraparound’s average care cost was nearly $4,000 over the same period.
  • Wraparound cites a drop in residential placements since its inception: from 375 youth placements in 1996 to 90 placements in 2008.
  • The program argues such reduced utilization of costly inpatient and often last-resort services allows mental health workers to focus more on improved treatment. Clinical scores incorporating feedback from youth, families, and clinicians note an average 20 point improvement of clinical health indicators of treated youth.

"Wraparound Milwaukee makes the seemingly impossible, possible,” said Bruce Kamradt, director, Children's Mental Health Services, Milwaukee County and director, Wraparound Milwaukee. “The program integrates services and funding across child serving systems to achieve the best possible outcomes for children with serious emotional and mental health needs. Through its very individualized, strength-based, comprehensive services and focus on family involvement , Wraparound demonstrates that even children with the most complex needs can be effectively and safely cared for in their homes instead of institutions."


“Wraparound Milwaukee’s care model breaks through rigid program silos and delivers cost effective and higher quality care that involves families from day one,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government program at Harvard Kennedy School. “The program champions a unique approach to care where one size doesn’t fit all. In honoring Wraparound, we hope other states will learn from the program’s innovation and adopt similar practices to ensure improved care of at risk youth.”


Bruce Kamradt


Bruce Kamradt, Director of  the Wraparound MIlwaukee Program accepted the Ash Institute Award on behalf of the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division  in Washington D.C. on September 14, 2009.

In accepting the award, Bruce Kamradt acknowledged that the program's success would not be possible without the full participation of families enrolled in the program combined with the dedication and committment of the Care Coordinators who work with the families.  He also acknowledged the strong partnership with the Bureau of MIlwaukee Child Welfare, Delinquency and Court Services, the Wisconsin Department of Health, Families United of Milwaukee (providing Family Advocacy) and more than 200 community agencies that provide behavioral health and family support services as key components to the program's success.


Visionaries Documentary

In addition to receiving a grant to share its innovative practices for individualizing the treatment of youth through family involvement and a unified set of services, as one of the six government initiatives honored as Innovations in American Government 2009 Award winners, Wraparound Milwaukee is featured in the 2010 Visionaries video, a PBS-produced documentary highlighting all six award winners.  The video is currently available on YouTube.


The Wraparound Milwaukee will be featured in a 20 minute documentary produced for the Public Television Series "Visionaries".   Visionaries episode 1604 featuring the Wraparound Milwaukee Program will air on PBS Television in Fall of 2010.  Click in the link below to view the video in its entirety.







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