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What Is Wraparound?

A wraparound service is developed and/or approved by a child and family team, is community-based and unconditional, is culturally competent and includes the delivery of coordinated, highly individualized services in three or more life domain areas of a child and family.

A Child and Family Team, at minimum, includes: 1. The parent and/or surrogate parent (i.e., foster parent or guardian); 2. If the child is in custody, the appropriate representative of the state (social worker or probation officer); 3. A lead teacher and/or vocational counselor; 4. If the child is in mental health treatment, or should be in mental health treatment, the appropriate therapist or counselor; 5. A case manager or services coordinator (a person who is responsible for ensuring that the services are coordinated and accountable); 6. An advocate of the child and/or parent; and 7. Any other person influential in the child's or parent's life who may be instrumental in developing effective services, such as a neighbor, a physician, a relative, or a friend. In addition, the child should be included on the team unless to do so would be detrimental to the development of the child.

Community-based means in the local community or rural area where the child and his/her family live. Restrictive or institutional care should be accessed for brief stabilization only.

Culturally Competent means that the child and family team are culturally sensitive and the services are tailored to the particular culture and values of the child and family.

Unconditional means that the team agrees to never deny services because of extreme severity or disability, to change services as needs of the child and family change, and to never reject the child or family from services.

Individualized services are based on specific needs of the child and/or family, and not on a particular categorical intervention model. "Needs" are defined in positive terms, such as a need of a child to do art or the need to continue to excel in school; as well as in terms that imply a need for remedial action, such as a need of a parent to get employment or the need of a child to stop hurting other children and learn appropriate interaction skills. These individualized services are both traditional (therapy, foster care, etc.) and non-traditional (hiring a special friend, bringing staff to live in a family home, special recreational services, etc.)

Life domain needs are areas of basic human needs that almost everyone experiences. These are: 1. Residential (a place to live); 2. Family or surrogate family; 3. Social (friends and contact with other people); 4. Educational and/or Vocational; 5. Medical; 6. Psychological/Emotional; 7. Legal (especially for children with juvenile justice needs); 8. Safety (the need to be safe); and other case-specific life domain areas such as cultural/ethnic needs or community needs.

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