What is Wraparound?

What is Wraparound?

Wraparound is a planning process that follows a series of steps to help children, youth and families realize their hopes and dreams. It ensures that children and youth grow up in their homes and communities, bringing people together from different parts of the whole family’s life. It encourages connection to the community and prioritizes the need for all of us to have a sense of belonging and connection to people who will be in our lives for the long haul.

Wraparound is driven by 10 principles:

  1. Family Voice and Choice: The family or youth’s vision for how they want things to go in life is always considered. As well, options should be given to families so that they can decide what is best for them.

  2. Team Based: The team consists of individuals picked by the family. Team members are informal and/or formal supports.


  3. Natural Supports: The team should include people from the family’s personal networks as well as their community.


  4. Collaboration: Team members work cooperatively and share responsibility for plans. The plan should be a blend of all the mandates at the table and move in the direction of the youth or family’s vision.


  5. Community Based: Wraparound aims to be inclusive and accessible with options that will integrate the family into their community.


  6. Culturally Competent: The Wraparound process shows respect for and builds on the values, preferences, beliefs, culture, and identity of the child, youth, or family.


  7. Individualized: The options that families have to choose from should make the most sense for them. The needs discussed must be worded in a way that respects the family or youth as an individual unit.


  8. Strengths Based: The Wraparound process identifies, builds, and utilizes family and youth strengths that will help guide the team in their work as well as reach their vision and meet their needs.


  9. Persistence: The team persists in working towards the goals included in plans. We believe that families don’t fail, but that plans fail.


  10. Outcome Based: The outcomes are determined by the family. Goals and strategies are always tied to those outcomes to ensure that what the team is working on is going to have a lasting impact.

And there are 4 Phases of Wraparound:

  1. Engagement: A family or youth begin by meeting the facilitator and beginning to build a trusting relationship. Together they explore the family and youth culture, strengths, and needs. They talk about what has worked in the past and what to expect from Wraparound. The facilitator engages other team members and gathers as much information about the children, youth, and family as possible.

  2. Plan Development: The team learns about the family and youth strengths, needs, culture and vision for the future. The team, with the family and youth, decide what will be worked on, what will be done, how it will be done, and who is responsible for what.


  3. Plan Implementation: Family and team members meet regularly. The team reviews accomplishments and progress towards goals and makes adjustments to the plan as necessary.

  4. Transition: As the team nears its goals, preparations are made for the youth and family to transition out of formal Wraparound. The hope is that they will have the skills and plans to support them in their continued successful connections with their family and community without formal facilitation.