The Youth and Family Training Institute

The Youth and Family Training Institute (YFTI) was established in 2007 as a part of the University of Pittsburgh and Western Psychiatric Hospital (WPH) in Pittsburgh, PA. YFTI was formed to assist the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Service's Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (PA OMHSAS) Children’s Bureau in bringing High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW) to the 67 counties within the Commonwealth. The Institute was developed with funds from PA OMHSAS, The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, and Community Care Behavioral Health (CCBH).  It is managed through a partnership between PA OMHSAS, WPIC and the University of Pittsburgh.

The Youth and Family Training Institute (YFTI) provides High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW) training, credentialing, coaching and evaluation to Pennsylvania counties that apply to be implementers of the HFW process. Briefly stated, the goals of High Fidelity Wraparound are to assist the family in meeting the needs they have prioritized, improve their ability and confidence to manage their own services and supports, and develop or strengthen their own natural support system over time. In order to develop and evaluate HFW in Pennsylvania, the Youth and Family Training Institute utilizes the High Fidelity Wraparound Theory of Change, and the High Fidelity Wraparound Principles and Phases, and training and evaluation methods developed by the National Wraparound Initiative.

Vision of the Youth and Family Training Institute

The vision of the Youth and Family Training Institute is that children and youth with behavioral health challenges and multi-system needs, and their families, will be able to access High Fidelity Wraparound regardless of where they live in Pennsylvania.

Mission of the Youth and Family Training Institute

The mission of the Youth and Family Training Institute is to achieve quality family- and youth-driven outcomes by advancing the philosophy, practice and principles of High Fidelity Wraparound through training, coaching, credentialing and ensuring fidelity to the HFW process.

Goals of YFTI:

  1. Assure that the planning, development, implementation and governance of High Fidelity Wraparound is family driven and youth guided.
  2. Train, coach and credential High Fidelity Wraparound Coaches/Supervisors, HFW Facilitators, HFW Family Support Partners and Youth Support Partner.
  3. Provide ongoing education and support for credentialed High Fidelity Wraparound workforce.
  4. Evaluate and monitor the provision of High Fidelity Wraparound to continually assess quality, fidelity and outcomes.
  5. Share relevant information about fidelity, outcomes and service costs with the families, youth, PA counties, Managed Care Organizations (MCO), and Pennsylvania OMHSAS staff to effect change.
  6. Communicate and collaborate with the National Wraparound Initiative to further the field.

Participating Counties as of April 2011

Currently, the Youth and Family Training Institute is working with the following counties in Pennsylvania:

Youth and Family Training Institute Staff


The Youth and Family Training Institute is located in Monroeville, PA. Under the direction of Ken Nash, MD, MMM, Chief of Clinical Services, Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, and Lauren Jones, Senior Director, Public Policy, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC, the YFTI staff is responsible for assuring that the HFW workforce achieves and maintains fidelity to the model throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

The Evaluation Team is staffed by Monica Walker-Payne, Lead Evaluator; William McKenna, Data Coordinator and Analyst; Eileen Domin, Evaluation Project Coordinator, and Irina Puchkareva, Systems Programmer.

Principal Investigators (PI) for the Institute are Dr. Ken Nash, Chief of Clinical Services at WPIC, Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs,  and Laurie Jones, Sr. Director, Public Policy/Community Education Initiative. The Principle Investigators, in collaboration with youth and family members from throughout Pennsylvania, created the foundation for what is now the Youth and Family Training Institute.

The Youth and Family Training Institute Advisory Board guides the Institute in developing goals and strategies to implement High Fidelity Wraparound statewide and is comprised of eight family members, eight youth members and eight professionals who represent various child serving systems. Family and youth members of the YFTI Advisory Board all have personal experience in the mental health system. The members were chosen through an application process and represent the diversity of Pennsylvania.

The Youth and Family Training Institute maintains an office in Pittsburgh, PA at:

Corporate One Office Park
Building 1, Suite 438,
4055 Monroeville Blvd.
Monroeville, PA 15146
Phone Toll Free: 1-866-462-3292

Note: In Pennsylvania, High Fidelity Wraparound is not currently being used for children with a primary diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum.