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Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Wraparound Process

NCJ Number
Date Published
Development Services Group, Inc.
Based on a literature review, this paper presents an overview of the features and evaluation findings for the “wraparound” process, which is a youth-guided, family-driven team planning process that provides coordinated and individualized community-based services for youths and their families.
The process involves “wrapping” a comprehensive array of individualized services and support network “around” youth in the community instead of forcing them to enroll in predetermined, inflexible treatment programs. This approach emerged in the 1980s as a community-based alternative to institutionalization for youth with complex behavioral problems. Annually, approximately 100,000 youths nationwide engage in a well-defined wraparound process. Although definitions may vary, there is a consensus that authentic wraparound programs feature six components. They are a collaborative, community-based interagency team; a formal interagency agreement; care coordinators; child and family teams; a unified plan of care; and systematic, outcomes-based services. In response to the need for a standard definition and guiding framework, the National Wraparound Initiative (NWI) has produced several resource guides on wraparound, so as to assist in producing high-quality implementation of the process. The NWI’s 10 principles of the wraparound process are outlined in the current paper. Overall, evaluation findings on the wraparound process indicate it could have positive benefits for youth; however, more rigorous evaluation research is needed on outcomes for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Although Wraparound Milwaukee is known for involving youth in the juvenile justice system, no rigorous experimental or quasi-experimental study has examined its impact on these youth. 16 references
Date Created: February 4, 2016