A Person-Centered, Strength-Based Planning Process for Complex Needs and Community Support
The term ‘wraparound’ has become a catch-all for any collective helping process in social service and
healthcare circles in recent years. The High-Fidelity WrapAround program that Green Wood offers in
partnership with Wrap Canada is distinctive and is based on a model that has been effective in many
communities for people experiencing complex challenges.
At it’s simplest, the WrapAround process is a person (or family) driven, team based planning process
that develops an individualized plan using the strengths of the person and their team members. With
the assistance of a trained WrapAround Facilitator, together they develop strategies that the whole
team takes on to effectively address the person’s needs on a day-to-day basis.
The person chooses who will be on the team. They choose what they want to work on and how fast they
want to work on it. In this way, our goal is to put the person back in charge of their lives so that they
don't feel helpless and powerless. Rather, we guide them toward directing their own change process
which often leads to hope that life can be different.
There are two other key components of a WrapAround initiative. The first is the mobilization of the local
community in which the person or family lives. This team of people mobilizes the community in which a
person lives to find the in-kind resources and volunteer supports that they require to have a better life
and become connected to positive social networks again.
The other part of a successful WrapAround initiative is the development of a partnership at the system
level amongst agencies and organizations that support the development of WrapAround initiatives at a
community level. When that happens, a person struggling with multiple, complex needs will have a
better life and experience belonging in their community.
“Green Wood staff have achieved extraordinary results with people who are dealing with complex,
seemingly intractable needs. Their practice is true to the values and principles that undergird
WrapAround (values like, “nothing about us without us”, “no shame no blame”, “voice and choice”,
“strength-based rather than deficit- or pathology-based”).”
-Mark Vander Vennen, Co-Director, Wrap Canada Training Institute
How much time does a WrapAround process take?
When these pieces come together, things can start to change very quickly. Having said that,
WrapAround is not a quick fix; we stay with people on average for a year and often longer until they feel
that they can do this work on their own. To begin, the Facilitator and participant will meet together a
few times to build their team, then the whole group (3-10 team members) will meet as frequently as
needed (monthly is typical as the process unfolds).
Is there a cost to participate in WrapAround?
Because of donor support, we offer WrapAround in our community at no cost, as we have availability of
trained Facilitators. Team members are volunteers invited by the participant (if an invited team member
participates because of a professional relationship, they may be in a paid role).
Who can be a WrapAround participant?
WrapAround is open to anyone willing to give it a try, working with a Facilitator and a team (of their
choosing) of three or more people.
Is WrapAround planning available with any other local organizations?
Yes! If you’re in a family with children, Wraparound Northumberland has been offering this planning for
more than two decades, locally. A relatively new program, specifically for seniors, is offered by
Community Care Northumberland. We are pleased to support and collaborate with these agencies that
use the Wrap Canada High-Fidelity WrapAround model.