Youth and Family Training Institute's Vision

"Children and youth with behavioral health challenges and multi-system needs, and their families will be able to access High Fidelity Wraparound anywhere in Pennsylvania".


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Youth and Family Training Institute's Mission

“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 process”.

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Our Culture

Stories depicting the rich
cultural make-up of the PA High Fidelity Wraparound workforce are available here.
Please send us your story if you are a HFW workforce member, a HFW youth, HFW family member or a member of our YFTI Advisory Board.


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A Grandmother's Appreciation

I'm the grandmother of a teenage female, who for various reasons has lived with me and my husband for 7 years of her life.


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Austin's Story

My family worked with High Fidelity Wraparound. Alice, my Facilitator and Joy, my FSP helped me and my family whenever we were fighting. They were there whenever we needed them.

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Family Shares High Fidelity Wraparound Experience

"High Fidelity Wraparound was a positive experience for my son and me. I am a single mother that so frustrated with the “system” and people who were supposed to me helping me. I wanted my son to be “fixed.” By the time this program was presented to me, we had tried so many other services."

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God's Gift to our Family in Need

A mother's desperate cry for help is finally answered. A poem about hope and progress.

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How the YFTI Advisory Board Helped Prepare Jen

"I just wanted to tell you how proud I was of myself BECAUSE of all the experience I learned through YFTI."

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Family Perspective on Joint Planning Team (HFW)

I reached goals, and accomplished the purpose that we set out to do. Things that needed to be taken care of before my son came home from placement got done.

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Current Events/Alerts

Five Day HFW Team Training Registration

The Youth and Family Training Institute has several upcoming Five Day High Fidelity Wraparound Team Trainings. The Team Training is for HFW workforce members. If you are a county or provider administrator in a county implementing HFW, or a county who is interested in implementing HFW, please contact Dave Ozias, YFTI Training Specialist (412.856.2787 or Doreen Barkowitz, YFTI Training Coordinator at 412.856.2892. For additional details, please see the Calendar section of our website.   Read more

Upcoming Conferences at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic

Several conferences are scheduled over the next few months. Please consider attending them! Read more

Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACEs)

Paying Attention to the ACE Study: Check out the article from the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health, which highlights the recent attention to the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Study that began in 1995. Additional information about the ACE Study (ACEs) is located on this page, as well. Read more

Wraparound is Worth Doing Well: An Evidence-Based Statement

"Anything worth doing is worth doing well". Research tells us we should heed this guidance when delivering our children's behavioral health services. Read more

Christine McClellan Recognition Plaque

Christine has been a HFW facilitator coach and supervisor at Family Resources in Allegheny County for several years. We're very proud of her accomplishments!   Read more

Youth Support Partner Positions

Allegheny County Department of Human Services is currently accepting resumes for the Youth Support Partner (YSP) Position. This is a Peer Mentor program that works with youth ages 14-21. In order to be a Youth Support Partner, it requires you to have had personal involvement with a child-serving system. Read more

New Name and New Website for the Department of Public Welfare

The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) is now the Department of Human Services and has introduced a new website! Read more

Training Requirements for New Child Protective Services Laws

"Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse: Mandated and Permissive Reporting in Pennsylvania" is a free three-hour online course that provides information on the recognition of child maltreatment, the obligation or opportunity to report child maltreatment, and the procedures for making a report of child maltreatment.   Read more

OMHSAS Receives Youth Suicide Prevention Grant

OMHSAS has been awarded a Suicide Prevention in Schools and Colleges Grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Read more

Children's Mental Health Matters

Dr. Gordon Hodas, consulting child psychiatrist for the Pennsylvania Children's Bureau participates in Advisory Board activities for the Youth and Family Training Institute. He has written a series on mental health and wellness for youth and families and articles on Children's Mental Health Matters with Dr. John Biever. Read more

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

PCIT Continues to Expand Across Pennsylvania Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is now available in 60 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, marking significant expansion over the past several years.    Read more

Trauma Informed Care

New Resources on Trauma-Informed Care Trauma-Informed Care: Perspectives and Resources: a free online tool created by the Georgetown University National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health and JBS International, Inc. Read more

Preventing Suicide - Toolkits, information, downloads and conferences

This page is dedicated to preventing suicide in youth and adults. Please check back frequently for updated information. Read more

Knowledge Network for Systems of Care (KSOC-TV) Webisodes

Technical assistance on critical issues related to mental health needs of children, youth and families. July 17, 2014 - Helping Children on their Journey to Adulthood; August 11, 2014 2:00 PM EST - Supporting Families with LGBTQ Youth; and others! Read more

Healthy Transitions Initiative Toolkit

The HTI Tool Kit displays documents developed and/or used by Healthy Transition Initiative jurisdictions at both the state and community level. As an adaptable and versatile educational resource, this Tool Kit serves as a starting place for those states and communities who are beginning to plan for ways of better meeting the needs of young adults with mental health challenges. Read more

Applications for YFTI Advisory Board Membership being accepted

The Youth and Family Training Institute is currently seeking Advisory Board Applications for youth and family members.  If you are interested please read more about the application process under our YFTI Advisory Board Tab.   Read more

Safe Schools/Healthy Students Grant Awarded to OMHSAS!

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services was recently was awarded a federal grant of $2 million per year for four years to help create safe and supportive schools and communities. Read more

Final Rule on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity

On November 8, 2013, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor (DOL) and the Treasury jointly issued the final rule to implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenicic Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).  Read more

National Council... 50 Years, 50 Stories!

Far too often, mental illnesses and addictions make the headlines only in the wake of tragedies, while stories of hope and courage get little attention.  The National Council for Behavioral Health is proud to bring you 50 stories of recovery in a special issue of National Council Magazine to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Community Mental Health Act. Read Jake Vandel's story about his own journey and his impact as a Peer Support Specialist (page 28). Jake previously served on the Youth and Family Training Institute's Advisory Board as a youth partner. Jake still consults with YFTI on many issues. You can read more about Jake on this website under "Current News".  For the 50 stories: Read more

Healthy Pennsylvania

This message is sent on behalf of Deputy Secretary Dennis Marion: I am pleased to announce that Governor Corbett is unveiling an exciting new plan this week called Healthy Pennsylvania.  Healthy Pennsylvania is Governor Tom Corbett’s plan to ensure that Pennsylvanians have increased access to quality, affordable health care. Read more

Workgroup Examines Needs of Transition Age Youth and Young Adults

OMHSAS, in collaboration with the children’s committee of the Mental Health Planning Council, has developed a statewide workgroup to more closely examine the needs and system challenges of transition-age youth and young adults (TAYYA). Read more

Transition to Adult Living in Pennsylvania

Website Announcement...  The Pennsylvania Department of Health, along with other commonwealth agencies and community partners, recognized the gaps in health and other services for transitioning youth and those with special health care needs. Read more

New Website for Secondary Transition Planning

The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, and the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) have developed a new website for youth and families that addresses planning for secondary transition: Read more

YFTI is in the PA Recovery and Resilience Newsletter!

Check out to read about YFTI! Read more

Assistance to Access/Navigate the Behavioral Health Service and Support System

Need Help? If you need assistance to access and/or navigate the behavioral health service and support system for yourself, your child, a family member, or someone you know, please contact our Behavioral Health Navigators.  Read more

Trauma and Crisis Resources

As schools and communities are considering prevention and support efforts in light of the recent school tragedy, the PA SOC Partnership wanted to pass along these trauma and crisis resources shared by the TA Partnership. Read more

Disaster Distress Helpline Offers Immediate Crisis Counseling

Call 1-800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUs" to 66746. The recent shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, continues to bring out strong emotions across the Nation. The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the many issues and problems that might arise from this tragedy. Read more

Learn More About Preventing Underage Drinking

Nearly 10 million 12- to 20-year-olds in the United States are underage drinkers. These underage drinkers can generate serious negative consequences for individuals, families, and communities. Read more

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Welcome to the Youth and Family Training Institute!

Click here to view our Ten Year Report.


The Youth and Family Institute (YFTI) is in our 12th year of providing training, coaching, credentialing and evaluation in Pennsylvania's efforts towards the High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW) process. In 2007 YFTI began working with our stakeholders to adapt and refine the HFW Process so that we continue to assure the principles, phases and activities that bring youth and families to the planning table as equal partners in their care. We are currently working with 15 partner counties.

The High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW) process is a team-based collaborative process for developing and implementing individualized plans for youth with behavioral health challenges and their families. High Fidelity Wraparound has been standardized by the National Wraparound Initiative and is based on specific principles and phases.

We will work to educate many county administrators, managed care organizations, youth and family members, and interested system partners about HFW in general. We plan to take it even further by facilitating discussions about how HFW can work with a variety of systems, such as juvenile justice, education, Family Based Mental Health Services, child welfare, etc. We are working closely with our partner organization, the PA System of Care Partnership to radically change the way youth and families interact with behavioral health services in Pennsylvania.

We are grateful to the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (PA OMHSAS), the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, Community Care Behavioral Health (CCBH) and the Youth and Family Training Institute's Advisory Board for their continued support and guidance. They enable us to ensure that our HFW workforce has rigorous training and coaching in order to uphold fidelity to the HFW model. This is wonderful and important for the many youth and families who can benefit from the HFW process.


Our Vision and Mission


Children and youth with behavioral health challenges and multi-system needs, and their families, will be able to access High Fidelity Wraparound anywhere in Pennsylvania.


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 process.


Great News for our Youth and Family Support Partners!


The National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) has given the following credit recommendation to the Five Day HFW Team Training:

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, two semester hours as a social science elective (5/16). For additional information, as well as directions for obtaining an Official Student Record or transcript, please go click here.



Counties may apply to be System of Care partner counties or learning communities.

Learning communities will be eligible for limited in-person technical assistance. Funding will not be available until they become System of Care partner counties with full commitment to establishing a county leadership team, implementing HFW, and facilitating data collection and outcomes measurement. Counties that apply and are chosen to be learning communities will have access to all online and paper technical assistance tools and marketing materials. And, county residents and staff will be welcome at all PA System of Care Partnership opportunities and events. Learning communities will have more time to find and educate local System of Care champions, engage a broad base of stakeholders and build the foundation necessary for full System of Care implementation. Residents and staff of learning communities will be expected to attend at least two shared learning opportunities per year, always with the option to attend more.

Shared learning opportunities may include groups of counties or specific stakeholder groups (such as youth-only, family-only, juvenile justice or HFW staff) working on implementation improvement with respect to specific System of Care standards. There may be topical training opportunities (youth leadership, cultural competence, etc.) or targeted collaborative work to address specific common barriers and to celebrate successes.


Which support from YFTI do you find most helpful?



Advance Training and Renewal Program

HFW Workforce Summit/Role Day

Quarterly Calls/Reports

Ongoing contact with our staff