What Are Wraparound Services?

Because mental health professionals began to see the need to assist children across various life settings, a system of care management known as wraparound services came into existence in the 1980’s. These programs incorporate the natural support systems of clients, along with various agency personnel and community representatives, to address children’s dynamic needs. Natural supports include family members, extended family, other caregivers, teachers and physicians, among others. The “wraparound” label refers to the fact that services are intended to wrap around the child in a way that supports him in all aspects of his life.

Featured Programs:
Sponsored School(s)
Purdue University Request Info
Selected Program:
  • Online MSEd in Special Education (Ranked #11 Best Online Master’s in Special Education Program by U.S. News & World Report 2021)
Capella University Request Info
Selected Program:
  • 100% online MS in Special Education Teaching
Saint Joseph's University Request Info
Selected Program:
  • Online Master of Science in Special Education
Grand Canyon University Request Info
Selected Program:
  • M.Ed. in Elementary Education and Special Education (ITL); M.Ed. in Special Education: Moderate to Severe (ITL); M.Ed. in Special Education: Cross Categorical (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
Western Governors University Request Info
Selected Program:
  • BA Special Education (Mild to Moerate) - Leads to single licensure in K - 12 special education; MA Teaching, Special Education (K-12)
Regis University Request Info
Selected Program:
  • Few things are as important to our future as helping young people reach their potential. Build your character through masters-level education degree programs at Regis University.

About Wraparound

These services have become quite common and are often referred to simply as “wraparound.” In this system, members of the child’s natural support group and agency professionals come together to form a treatment team that will communicate and work to help the child to overcome problematic mental health or behavioral issues. A psychological professional meets with the child for assessment and to determine a diagnosis. Therapeutic goals will be set, along with measurement criteria, and the team will work with the child across the settings of home, school and community in order to teach new behaviors, monitor progress and revise the treatment plan as current objectives are met.

FIND SCHOOLS
Sponsored Content

Therapeutic Format

The team is usually led by a certified psychologist. A mental health agency representative is charged with writing the treatment plan, facilitating communication among team members and overseeing the client’s case. This method of treatment is said to be “strength-based” in that the foundation of the overall plan is the strengths in the child’s life. Such strengths may be a supportive family, the child’s talents or unique personality traits, a strong school support system or neighbors who watch out for each other. Wraparound services also strive to be culturally competent and to empower the family by consulting them regarding the client’s needs and progress.

Services in Wraparound

While there are often additional assistance provided depending on the client’s particular issues, wraparound is usually made up primarily of a core group of services. Psychological evaluations are given at regular intervals. The primary evaluation is used to assess the client’s current level of functioning, make diagnoses and to recommend treatment methods. Each child receiving assistance under the wraparound umbrella will usually be assigned three primary team members to guide specific areas of the treatment plan. A Behavioral Specialist Consultant (BSC) usually holds a Master’s level degree in some aspect of psychology and is charged with implementing a behavior modification plan based on each child’s needs. A Mobile Therapist (MT) is a Master’s level clinician who provides individual and family counseling in the home or community settings. Finally, Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS) members works one-on-one with the child in order to reinforce appropriate strategies in adherence with the child’s treatment plan.

FIND SCHOOLS
Sponsored Content

What makes this method of treatment successful is the cooperation of representatives across various settings, all following the same plan and working with the goal of helping the child. Wraparound services have proven effective in ensuring children with mental health diagnoses are able to remain within their support networks.

See also: Top 20 Online Master’s in Special Education Degree Programs