It’s all in the name – WrapAround. A community wraps itself around a family or individual in need, providing unconditional and nonjudgmental care that will allow everyone to benefit.
WrapAround is an ancient concept in some ways; from the beginning of time, communities have taken care of themselves, creatively solved issues and refused to give up on members. The formal concept of WrapAround service provision developed about 30 years ago and was more about how to stop the money drain that occurs when minor children are placed out of their homes and sometimes out of state in an effort to address mental health, criminal or familial issues. WrapAround pioneers recognized that the immense amounts of money spent on out-of-home placement could be redirected toward purchasing home-based services that would keep kids in school and attached to their families and communities. Even with many in-home services being purchased, the dollars spent were nowhere near the cost of out-of-home placement.
A funny thing happened on the way to the cost savings: in an effort to ensure that in-home services would succeed and that families were supported in keeping their child/children at home, WrapAround pioneers truly enlisted families in their own unique, healing process. Families were included in all phases of planning; they were treated as experts on their own, idiosyncratic situations; family strengths were identified at the same time that needs were assessed.
Family inclusion and respect are cornerstones of the WrapAround Program. From beginning to end, the knowledge, skills, and strengths of the family are considered essential to the success of the program. Here’s how a WrapAround referral might unfold:
One of the hallmarks of WrapAround is that it’s unconditional, meaning no one gets dismissed from the process. If a family, individual, or agency is struggling with a part of the agreed-upon action plan, then the team meets and revisits that action plan. Anyone who works with kids or families will agree that “one size fits all” is an ineffective strategy for humans. WrapAround is all about customized services tailored to each unique and wonderful family, honoring their culture and what’s important to them.
In September 2006, WrapAround came to Douglas County operating under the umbrella of the Douglas County Youth Initiative. The program has been supported and further developed through collaboration with many community partners.
Douglas County WrapAround is committed to the core concepts of the program: Inclusivity, Respect, Compassion, Real Solutions, Unconditional Care, Cost-savings, and Success.
For more information on Douglas County WrapAround please contact Marsha Alston, Youth Services Program Manager at 303.688.4825 ext 5327 or e-mail at [email protected]