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Coordinated Services Teams Initiatives

Coordinated Services Teams (CST) Initiatives help provide a complete, personalized system of care. They focus on kids with complex behavioral health needs.

The CST itself is a team of family members, service providers, and others. They work to design and carry out a coordinated services plan for the child. We also call this model of care “wraparound.”

The result of CST Initiatives is a plan of care that meets the needs of the child and family with community-based supports. This lets the child live their best life at home.

CST Initiatives vision and principles

Our vision for CST Initiatives is:

  • To transform the children’s mental health and substance use system in Wisconsin.
  • To better meet the needs of kids and families.
  • To create a seamless, complete children’s behavioral health system.
  • To use wraparound as a model for support.

Our wraparound principles include:

  • Family voice and choice—The team asks for family and child input during all phases of the wraparound process. All planning is grounded in what the family needs. The team aims to give options that reflect the family’s values and choices.
  • Team-based—The team includes people the family approves. They are committed to the family through informal, formal, and community support and service relationships.
  • Natural supports—The team actively seeks out and promotes involvement of people from the family’s networks. This includes interpersonal and community relationships. The wraparound plan has activities and methods that use sources of natural support.
  • Collaboration—Team members work together. They share responsibility for setting up, making happen, watching over, and reviewing a wraparound plan. The plan reflects team views, mandates, and resources. It guides and coordinates each client’s work towards meeting the team’s goals.
  • Community-based—The team uses services and supports that take place in the most inclusive, responsive, and accessible settings. All settings should be the least restrictive and safely promote getting the family and child to thrive in home and community life.
  • Cultural and linguistic responsiveness—The process shows respect for the child, family, and their community. It builds on their values, preferences, beliefs, culture, and identity.
  • Individualized and developmentally informed—The team creates and implements a custom set of strategies, supports, and services. These help meet the goals in the wraparound plan.
  • Strengths-based—The process and plan find, build on, and enhance the abilities, knowledge, skills, and assets of the child and their family, their community, and other team members.
  • Unconditional—The team does not give up on, blame, or reject the child and their family. When faced with challenges or setbacks, the team keeps working toward meeting the goals in the wraparound plan. They do this until they agree that a formal wraparound process isn’t needed.
  • Outcome-based—The team connects goals and strategies in the plan with ways to observe or measure markers of success. They monitor progress based on these markers and revise the plan if needed. 

To learn more about the wraparound model, view the Foundations of Wisconsin Wraparound Video Series.

Who is eligible

CST Initiatives are for kids who are involved in many systems of care, such as:

  • Child welfare.
  • Developmental disabilities.
  • Juvenile justice.
  • Mental health.
  • Special education.
  • Substance use.

We support CST Initiatives in Wisconsin counties and tribal nations for kids who:

  • Have a severe emotional disorder.
  • Are at risk of getting placed outside of their home.
  • Are in an institution and aren’t getting coordinated, community-based services.
  • Are in an institution but could return to community placement or their home if they had the right services.

Learn more about the screening process and how to enroll.

What services are covered

Participants who use a CST Initiative get:

  • A group of people that includes family members and service providers. They work together to respond to service needs for the child and their family.
  • A structured, personalized team planning process. This is called a wraparound model. Research shows that this approach is more effective for the child and their family.
  • A plan of care that better fits the needs of the child and their family. The child and family develop and refine:
    • Trust in their ability to complete tasks and reach goals.
    • Coping skills.
    • Problem solving skills.

Who to contact for help

For questions or concerns about CST Initiatives, contact either:

For concerns about patient rights, contact the Client Rights Office. They help protect the rights of people who get services for mental illness or substance use in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Wayfinder: Children's Resource Network Logo

Wisconsin Wayfinder supports families of children with delays, disabilities, special health care needs, and mental health conditions. Children’s resource guides are helpers who assist families, caregivers, professionals, and organizations in finding a wide array of supports and services available through the Children’s Resource Network. Learn more about this free and confidential service.

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Last revised November 16, 2023