High Fidelity Wraparound

When families in Pennsylvania hear the word “wraparound”, they automatically think of the positions of Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS), Mobile Therapist (MT) and Behavior Specialist Consultant (BSC). In Pennsylvania, what was formerly known to parents, guardians and providers as “wraparound” has always been Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services or BHRS. High Fidelity Wraparound is different.

High Fidelity Wraparound is a process that has roots in Canada and Belgium and has been widely funded on a national basis in the US for the past 25 years.  It is not a program or service, but a process to improve the lives of children with complex needs and their families. The difference is in the training and coaching of fidelity within the process. It means that there is exactness to the process, an adherence to details, and a strict observance to the rules of the process. There is consistency, and this process has been shown to work.

High Fidelity Wraparound is a process defined by ten principles and works through four specific phases and related HFW activities. The U.S. National Wraparound Initiative has standardized all the High Fidelity Wraparound Principles and Phases so that they are consistent among all involved in HFW. High Fidelity Wraparound is based on the “Theory of Change” and uses a variety of staff members such as a Facilitator, Family Support Partner (FSP) if requested, Youth Support Partner (YSP) if requested, and Coach or Supervisor to assist with the development and implementation of the High Fidelity Wraparound plan. Pennsylvania was one of the first states to formalize the inclusion of Youth Support Partners on the High Fidelity Wraparound team. PA has the first credentialed Youth Support Partner in the nation. 

The HFW team through the HFW process works to ensure that the youth and family are heard and respected, and that the goals they have identified are built into the recovery process. The HFW team can be comprised of those identified by and important to the family, as well as individuals involved in their lives from the various systems. Traditionally, this would include people like mental health professionals, juvenile justice workers, case workers from the child welfare system, and teachers among others. In HFW, the team strives to include natural supports... people such as family, friends and community members who will be there long after the paid professionals are gone. The goals are built on the strengths that each member brings to the team as well as the needs that are discussed and agreed upon. It is important for people to understand that needs are not services. For instance, a need may be identified as something concrete that the family must have to feel safe, to keep clean, and to maintain a job in order to have food and clothes, etc. When basic needs are not met, recovery is difficult to achieve. Brainstorming sessions between the HFW team members can often lead to very rich discussions about options that can meet the needs of the youth and family in both traditional and non-traditional ways.

The youth and family, along with the HFW Facilitator and HFW Support Partners regularly monitor the plan and bring the team together to review, celebrate successes and help identify new needs as they may arise. Families become empowered by having a plan they can manage in which progress is apparent and happens frequently.