Coordinated Services Team Initiatives (CST)

Governor Walker's Coordinated Services Team Mental Health Reform Package

Coordinated Services Teams (CST) are wraparound models of care for children with behavioral health issues. CST is targeted to children and families involved in two or more systems of care (such as mental health, long term care, juvenile justice, child welfare, substance abuse or special education) who have complex needs. The wraparound process is based on family and community values, is unconditional in its commitment to creatively address child and family needs and focuses on community-based supports. Each child and family-centered team develops an individualized plan, incorporating the strengths of the child and family. The team members from across the involved service systems work in partnership with the family on agreed upon goals. Parents/care givers are equal partners and have ultimate ownership of their Plan of Care.

Family sitting outdoors on a blanket

Counties or tribes may operate a CST. Wisconsin state statutes 46.56. "Initiatives to provide coordinated services for children and families," provides the framework for the initiative. Currently, there are 44 programs that receive some state funding support.

Act 20, the Wisconsin 2013-2015 biennial budget, includes legislation and funding to expand Coordinated Services Team Initiatives across the State of Wisconsin. Act 20 was enacted with the intent to provide ongoing support to Coordinated Services Teams in all counties and tribes in the state.

 Do Coordinated Service Teams Work?

CST programs have an evaluation component, the following data is taken from the 2011 evaluation report:

  • 764 children were served by CST programs with an average enrollment of 11.6 months
  • Primary referral sources for CST programming include child welfare systems (30%), mental health systems (24%), school systems (18%), and direct referral from families (17%)
  • Outcomes were reported on 241 children discharged during 2011:
  • 85% had no reported school suspensions or expulsions
  • 79% had no involvement with juvenile justice
  • Children rated as a danger to others decreased from 44% at enrollment to 17% at discharge
  • The percentage of children with permanent and stable relationships with parents or other adults increased 21% from enrollment to discharge
  • 72% of children had school performance with grades of C or above at discharge

For more detailed information about CST, please visit the Wisconsin's Collaborative Systems of Care (WCSOC) Resource Website. (Exit DHS)


Last Revised: March 26, 2015