Wraparound is a team-based planning process intended to provide individualized, coordinated, family-driven care to meet the complex needs of children, youth, and families who are involved with the various child and family-serving systems who are at risk of placement in institutional settings and who may experience emotional, behavioral, safety, or mental health difficulties. The wraparound process brings families, providers, and key members of the family’s social support network together to collaborate to build a customized plan of care that responds to the unique needs of the child and family.
By bringing people together from different parts of the family’s life, the family team drafts a plan of care driven by the youth and family that include the team mission and family vision. It concentrates on strengths and needs, intending to keep the family together, safe, and in the community or least restrictive setting possible. Team members then implement the plan and continue to meet regularly to record progress and tailor the plan to meet the family’s changing needs.
Wraparound is not something that you “get.” It’s something you “do”; it’s a process, not a program or a service. These fundamental principles merge with a “whatever it takes” philosophy that embodies an unconditional commitment to team development, family empowerment, and outcome-based interventions.
The wraparound team consists of the individuals agreed upon by the family and committed to the family through informal, formal, and community support and service relationships.
Team members work cooperatively and share responsibility for developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating a single wraparound plan. The plan reflects a blending of team members’ perspectives, mandates, and resources. The plan guides and coordinates each team member’s work towards meeting the team’s goal.
To achieve the goals in the wraparound plan, the team develops and implements a customized set of strategies, supports, and services.
Wraparound follows a series of four phases to strengthen and support families and help them realize and reach their hopes and dreams. With the assistance of facilitators, often referred to as Care Coordinators, along with parent professionals, often referred to as Family Partners, the team works together toward a unified mission and creates a plan of care.
During this phase, plans are made for a purposeful transition out of formal wraparound to a mix of formal and natural supports in the community (and, if appropriate, to services and supports in the adult or mandated system). The focus on transition is continual during the wraparound process, and the preparation for transition is apparent even during the initial engagement activities.
In the spirit of the popular belief, “It takes a village to raise a child,” Wraparound is an intervention strategy in which families are supported and encouraged toward their goals through the joint efforts of the professionally or socially involved people in their lives. The wraparound model is based on individualized, needs-driven planning and services. It is not a program or a type of service. It is a value base and an unconditional commitment to create services on a “one child, one family at a time” basis to support normalized and inclusive options for youth and families with complex needs.