Program helps families with troubled youth

SANDUSKY A family in turmoil with children with mental health issues is able to stay together with t
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

A family in turmoil with children with mental health issues is able to stay together with the help of Wraparound.

Julie and Paul Keech were on the verge of making a decision they did not want to do to return their adopted children back into state custody.

The Keech’s daughters Amy and Nicki were born to a mother with Schizophrenia. They have suffered from problems themselves. Amy has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Nicki with a form of Autism and with a mood disorder.

Julie and Paul were used to being called to pick up their children from school. Nicki was taken once from school to the Erie County Detention Center after an outburst. It was taking a toll physically and emotionally. In 2006 they contacted an attorney who referred them to Wraparound.

“We have our child back,” said Keech about Nicki.

The family was put in touch with Monarch School in , a charter school specializing in Autism services. She has also worked at the Erie County Humane Society taking care of their animals.

Nicki is thriving and Amy has taken classes at Firelands and has her own apartment.

Cindy A. Franketti, Erie County Wraparound Supervisor, said about half of those who use them are referred from the courts, the rest are referred by nurses and other professionals.

The process brings together resources, such as people or agencies, into a team, that can help the family. The team may involve area schools, lawyers or HUD. If the family is involved in probation or with Children Services those agencies may play a role with the family so, instead of meeting individually, everyone meets together, hears the same information or updates, and is on the same page with the family.

If the family tells her they need to keep their child out of the system and safe she said there are a lot of options to be designed for the family.

“We partner with child services to provide in home support,” Franketti said.

Wraparound creates a plans for the family, not just the child, based on  the needs of the family. The ultimate goal, however, is for the child to live a fulfilling, constructive, law abiding life.

“When we get everybody on a team all of a sudden things fall into place and resources that people didn’t know where available to them are mentioned as options, what does the family feel they need,” Franketti said.