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” is now only referred to as Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Services or BHRS. High Fidelity Wraparound is different, although the HFW team, the BHRS staff and staff from other involved agencies often work together to assist the family in achieving their goals.

High Fidelity Wraparound is a process defined by ten Principles and works through four specific Phases and related activities. The HFW team works to ensure that the youth and family are heard and respected, and that the goals they have identified are built into the High Fidelity Wraparound plan and the recovery process. The building of a natural support system, instead of a reliance on professionals is also a different concept than what families have been accustomed to in the past. The High Fidelity Wraparound team helps the youth and family members identify those who can serve as reliable natural supports. The High Fidelity Wraparound team will also work with service providers from the various systems involved to assist the youth and family, such as Mental Health Therapists and staff, school personnel, Probation Officers in the Juvenile Justice System and Case Managers from the Office of Children, Youth and Families in achieving their goals. The HFW team helps to ensure that all the players are on the same page, serving the very goals that the child and family have identified.

Since High Fidelity Wraparound is a collaborative process, it is often best utilized when a child or adolescent has multiple systems involved in their lives, e.g. mental health, drug and alcohol, and juvenile justice; mental health, juvenile justice and CYF; CYF, mental health and school behavioral problems, etc. The HFW team can help bring clarity and support in a strength-based, youth and family focused way to a situation wrought with daily drama and crisis. Targeting the needs of the youth and family, and utilizing their natural supports and other providers can help halt the behaviors that put the youth at risk of being placed out of their home and community.

An important use of HFW is when youth are leaving a residential treatment facility, shelter or psychiatric hospital. The HFW team can become a member of the child or adolescent’s team at any time. They can therefore become involved prior to the youth’s discharge helping to ensure that the youth is appropriately prepared for home, family and community and the family, home and community are prepared for the youth’s return.