What Is a Wraparound?

Wraparound is a kind of holistic way to engage individuals with special needs. This technique is often used with children in their families. When done properly, it makes it possible for individuals with complex needs to live in their families and communities.

What Is It?

This term was originally created in the 1980s. Over the years, the definition has changed slightly. It originally described an approach to individualized care planning. It is an intensive management and planning process, but it is not a true treatment technique. Instead, Wraparound is a way to structure a creative planning process that is customized to the individual’s unique needs. It is more holistic than normal plans because it incorporates what the family and siblings need as well.

The core principles of this type of planning focuses on voice and choice. It wants to provide all members of the family to provide their perspectives on the activities, services and support options.

The Wraparound Process

In 2004, the National Wraparound Initiative was started to better describe how the model works. Basically, the process focuses on four key phases. These include engagement and team preparation, transition, initial plan development and implementation. As the process begins, all of the people relevant to the child’s life are incorporated into the discussion. This includes family members, service providers, agency representatives and members of the social support network for the family. They collaborate to create, implement and monitor the plan.

The key components of this program start with listening carefully to the client and their support system. Then, they identify the difference the individualized goals for the clients based on their needs. They include interventions that focus on the client’s needs and identify different ways to handle crisis situations.

There are 10 core principles associated with this program. These principles include the following things:

– Team Based

– Strength-Based Family Leadership

– Collaborative

– Individualized

– Culturally Competent

– Outcome Focused

– Natural Supports

– Flexible Services and Funding

– Perseverance

– Community Based

Phase One

In the first phase of the Wraparound process, the facilitator generally works with the teacher, family and student. They have an initial conversation about the family’s story as they build a relationship. During the engagement phase, the facilitator builds a trusting relationship and explains what the family can expect. They also work to gather information about the team members.

Phase Two

During the initial plan development, the facilitator works to create baseline data about the strengths and needs for the child. Then, they share this data with the team. Different needs are prioritized and they create an action plan. The team works together to brainstorm strategies.

Phase Three

In the ongoing plan implementation phase, the facilitator continues to monitor the data. This information is used to review the initial plan and make necessary revisions. A meeting schedule is maintained so that the results can be reviewed. If things are not working, the action plan is revised.

Phase Four

In the transition phase, the team needs fewer regular meetings. Instead, the goal is to review and celebrate accomplishments. A transition plan is created to provide ongoing support.

When used properly, the Wraparound framework can help children gain holistic support. Everyone works as a team to achieve a progress. With a Wraparound plan, multiple life domains and individual needs can be addressed at once.