Site Visit

Children's Behavioral Health Services in Baltimore: Walking the Continuum
September 30–October 1, 2007


Jennifer Ryan


This site visit explored the range of behavioral health services available for children in the city of Baltimore and in the state more broadly. Like many states, the policy community in Maryland has been working hard to meet the challenges of providing an effective continuum of care in the context of complex financing incentives and an overburdened educational and public health care system. Several promising practices have emerged, including the Wraparound practice model that offers individualized, comprehensive services and natural supports to achieve a positive set of outcomes for the child and family. The wraparound model incorporates both traditional services (counseling, therapeutic foster care) and nontraditional activities (community-based art or music lessons, Big Brother/Big Sister mentoring, recreation and sports) activities to create an environment that helps ensure the child’s safety while improving her ability to thrive in the community. The site visit program consisted of a mix of speaker panels convened at the headquarters hotel, the Admiral Fell Inn in Fells Point, and excursions to several sites in Baltimore that “walked” participants through the continuum of care from school-based behavioral health services to nonpublic special education services (the Kennedy-Krieger Institute) to inpatient and residential psychiatric services (Sheppard Pratt Health System).

Related Materials

For details on participants' impressions, see the Site Visit Report, published January 25, 2008.

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