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Family Centered Services


Background and History

In 1997, Wraparound was established in California under Senate Bill (SB) 163 (Chapter 795, Statutes of 1997) which allows California counties to develop the Wraparound Model using State and county Aid to Families with Dependent Children -Foster Care (AFDC-FC) dollars. This legislation permits counties to use the Wraparound funding for planning and services delivery instead of use for placements of children/youth in high-end group homes (Rate Classification Level (RCL) 12-14.) The purpose of the bill is to return children and youth in group home care to their homes and communities or help children at imminent risk of placement in high-end group homes to remain in their homes. In January 2001, Assembly Bill (AB) 2706 extended the Wraparound process and service to children who were placed in lower-level group homes of a RCL 10-11 or at risk of placement at this level. Wraparound may also be used for children who are eligible for the Adoption Assistance Program or in AB 3632 placements even though the funding for services is different for these children.

The SB 163 Legislation requires Wraparound services to:

  • Be family centered, individualized, culturally relevant and strength based;
  • Be team and community based;
  • Rely on natural community supports, develop a child and family team plan to identify service needs;
  • Place child in the least restrictive environment;
  • Track and evaluate outcomes;
  • Be cost neutral to the State; and
  • Reinvest cost saving into child welfare programs.

The Wraparound process can eliminate barriers to service delivery, strengthen and support families. In addition, Wraparound can reduce the risk of out-of-home placement and recidivism by bringing individuals, agencies and the community together as the decision-making team with the central focus being to meet the needs of the child and family.

Senate Bill 163

What is WrapAround?

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) describes Wraparound as a planning process that values the engagement of the child and his/her family in a manner that shifts from a problem focused view of issues to building on individual strengths to improve family v child well being. The process is used to engage the family as they identify their own needs and create methods and a plan to meet those needs. The goal is to provide intensive, individualized services and supports to families that will allow children to live and grow up in a safe, stable, permanent family environment. For children and families in the foster care system, the Wraparound process can:

  • Enhance strengths by creating a strength-based intervention plan with a child and family team;
  • Promote youth and parent involvement with family voice, choice, and preference;
  • Use a community-based service delivery system;
  • Create independence and stability;
  • Provide services that fit a child and family's identified needs, culture, and preferences;
  • Create one plan to coordinate responses in all life domains; and
  • Focus on achieving normalized goals, and provide flexible funding to support the child and family team goals.

How is Wraparound funded by the California Department of Social Services?

As of 2006July 1, 2015, the reimbursement rates for Wraparound are $8,043 and $9,538, and are tied to current rates paid had the child been placed in a high level group home. Under statute, these payments are less when a child in Wraparound is federally eligible under specified conditions. The program must also be cost neutral to the State. This means that the cost to the State to provide Wraparound services shall be no more than the State would have otherwise spent for a group home placement. (Welfare and Institutions Code (WI&C) Section 18254(e))

The CDSS has developed training criteria and program standards for implementing a quality program using the Wraparound process. Counties wishing to participate in Wraparound must submit a letter of intent to CDSS indicating an interest in providing Wraparound services. All County Information Notice I-28-99 provides the Wraparound standards and the process for counties to participate in Wraparound. The County must design and submit a Wraparound plan to CDSS for approval. County staff and providers who participate in Wraparound are required to attend a State-approved Wraparound training program. A State/County Memorandum of Understanding is also required for the first three years of implementation. The CDSS training components include a Basic Overview, Introduction and Engagement, Facilitation and Skills building. In addition, technical support is available for all stages of planning, program development, and implementation.

As of August 2011, of the 58 counties in California, there are 47 that received approval for their Wraparound Implementation Plan.

The Mental Health Services Act Requirement for Wraparound Services for Children, Youth and Families

The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) became effective January 1, 2005 as a result of a ballot measure called Proposition 63. The MHSA includes a very specific requirement that all counties must develop a Wraparound Program for children and their families unless specified conditions are met. Specifically, MHSA Section 10, Part 3.7, Section 5847(a) (2) states:

"Each county mental health program shall prepare and submit a three year plan which shall be updated at least annually and approved by CDSS after review and comment by the Oversight and Accountability Commission. The plan and update shall include all of the following…(2) A program for services to children in accordance with Part 4 to include a program pursuant to Chapter 6 of Part 4 Division 9 commencing with Section 18250, or provide substantial evidence that it is not feasible to establish a Wraparound program in that county."

Wraparound, as described in W&IC commencing with Section 18250(a), is intended "to provide children with service alternatives to group home care through the development of expanded family-based services programs." Note that this statutory language states that Wraparound is an alternative to group home care. SB 163 programs, codified in Section 18250 - 18257 of the W&IC, are intensive services for children and adolescents who would otherwise be placed in a RCL 10 and above group home. Accordingly, any new or expanded Wraparound program meeting the requirements of MHSA should have access to the State and county AFDC-FC share of the group home rate for each wraparound slot.

To meet this aspect of the MHSA, CDSS provides training and technical assistance to counties regarding planning, implementing, and administering a Wraparound program. To learn more about the Mental Health Services Act, visit the California Department of Mental Health’s (link removed) web site.


General Resources

County Resources


CDSS Letters and Notices Related to Wraparound




  • CFL 03/04-49 (February 23, 2004)
    New Claiming Instructions for the CA 800 FC1 FED, Foster Care Facility Report and the CA 800 FC FED, Summary Report of Assistance Expenditures, Foster Care; Foster Care SB 163, Federal Forms
  • CFL 01/02-51 (June 4, 2002)
    Revised County Expense Claim (CEC) Instructions And Assistance Claim Instructions For SB 163 Wraparound Services Project
  • CFL 01/02-51 ERRATA
    Revised County Expense Claim (CEC) Instructions And Assistance Claim Instructions For SB 163 Wraparound Services Project


Email: Wraparound.Questions@dss.ca.gov
California Department of Social Services
Children and Family Services Division
Child Protection and Family Support Branch
744 P Street, MS 11-86
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-6600

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