Wraparound Services

What is wraparound?

Wraparound services are:

  • For children less than 21 years of age who live in Pennsylvania
  • For children who have autism or other serious emotional or behavioral problems
  • Services that work with your child at school, home and in the community
  • Different for every child
  • Paid for by Medical Assistance
  • Also called Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS)

What do wraparound services look like?

A team of trained professionals works with your child to help improve his or her behavior.

  • A behavior specialist (BSC) writes the plan about how to change your child’s behavior.
    • The plan explains what the child is learning to do.
    • The plan explains how to teach the child to do it.
    • The plan explains how the child will be rewarded for learning.
  • A mobile therapist (MT) may meet with your child or with other members of the family for individual mental health counseling at home or at school. This is like going to therapy, but the therapist comes to you.
  • A specially trained staff support person (TSS) may work with just your child every day, or a few days a week at home, in school or in the community, to help your child learn to change his or her behavior.

How can I get wraparound services for my child?

Step 1: Apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), even if you think you won’t qualify

  • Children with disabilities may qualify to get money from the government to help with their care. See How to Apply for SSI.
  • You will receive a letter telling you if you do or do not qualify. (It may take up to 60 days).
  • Keep the letter even if your child doesn’t qualify. You may still get Medical Assistance.

Step 2: At the same time, apply for Medical Assistance

  • See Medical Assistance for Children and Adolescents with Autism
  • Wraparound services are paid for by Medical Assistance.

Step 3: At the same time, ask for an evaluation for wraparound services

  • Call the Behavioral Health Managed Care Organization (MCO) in your county (listed at the end of this page).
  • The MCO will give you a list of doctors near your home who can do the evaluation. You can bring any reports from other evaluations with you to the appointment.
  • Talk to the doctor about what your child needs help with and what he is good at.
  • If the doctor thinks your child doesn’t qualify, and you disagree, you can ask the MCO for another doctor to do another evaluation.

Step 4: After the wraparound evaluation, you will get a report or a letter saying if your child qualifies for wraparound or not

  • Call the Behavioral Health Managed Care Organization for another appointment. Take a copy of the letter or report.
  • If you qualify, there will be an Interagency Service Planning Team (ISPT) meeting.
    • ISPT meetings happen at least once every year for your child.
    • Parents can ask for meetings more often if there are problems or changes.
  • Go to the meeting to help plan what services your child will get. If you qualify, wraparound services should start within 60 days.
  • If nothing happens in 60 days, call your MCO to follow up.
  • If nothing happens after you call your MCO, call the Community Services Area Manager: 412-565-5226 (Western PA) or 717-214-9076 (Eastern PA).
  • If the problem is still not fixed, call 1-800-274-3258.

Step 5: If you get wraparound services, you have to regularly re-apply to keep them

  • You may have to re-apply every four months. Ask when to re-apply. Don’t put it off.
  • Sometimes children with autism may only have to re-apply once per year.
  • You have to make an appointment for an evaluation each time.
    • You have to have the appointment BEFORE your wraparound expires.
    • You may have the same doctor as the first time.
    • You can also choose another doctor from the list.