Wraparound aims for community support

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 5/12/99.

Two years ago, wraparounds were just starting at Tri-County Action Programs (Tri-CAP). Now Janice Rein moderates wraparound committees on nearly a full-time basis.

Tri-CAP does wraparounds for family service groups and for corrections. "The idea," said Rein, "is to serve the family as well as possible without duplication of services."

Using professional advice and aid, the process tries to strengthen the family. The composition of each wraparound depends on the particular situation and the needs of the family. Aside from the family members, other potential representatives to the wraparound include school districts, county agencies, churches, charities, and law enforcement or medical personnel.

Rein said they try to build on the family's strengths to meet its long-term needs. "The professionals are there to give their help and support," said Rein, "but the family for the most part makes the decisions."

"We believe the family knows ╔what will work best," she added.

The process continues as long as the family needs it. Gradually, the situation should become more stable. Meetings with the wraparound would then become less frequent. A flexible plan allows enough community support for the family to be built so that professional aid is no longer required.

"We all believe that the best place for a child is to be in the home," said Rein. "Sometimes families need more support to make it happen."

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