FAQ Becoming a Formal Wraparound Team Member

What is my role as a Wraparound team member?
Your role as a Wraparound team member will most likely not involve doing anything different than what you are already doing. As a professional, you are already providing support to the family through your organization. The Wraparound team includes formal members chosen by the family, and it may include friends and family members (informal supports) as well.

All of the family’s supports come together in the Wraparound process to work with the family. You may be challenged to think creatively and to assist in strategizing and problem solving. This may be a different experience for you in that the family drives the plan and is involved in all aspect of Wraparound.

How can I help the family? Why is it important that I be there? 
Wraparound is a strength-based process—meaning that we try to connect the family’s strengths with strategies that will assist them in problem solving. We help the family identify needs, establish a vision and then work towards that vision. Wraparound team members bring their experience, expertise and ideas to the table—whether it’s brainstorming to develop a crisis plan, helping to create a schedule, suggesting parenting techniques, or offering another service from your agency.

The great part about being a formal support is that you have an opportunity to build a relationship with the family. The Wraparound setting creates an opportunity for the family to see you in a different role and appreciate the value you offer, to understand that professionals are working with them, not against them.

How often does the team meet. For how long? When? Where?
Wraparound meetings are very flexible. The team meets as often as the family feels it’s necessary. This may mean every two weeks or so in the beginning of the process and dropping to once a month after a while—the frequency depends on the family situation and their level of need. Meetings normally last 60 to 90 minutes and take place at any time that suits the family’s and the team members’ schedules.

The Wraparound team meets wherever it is most convenient for the family, such as their home, their local school, or their church. By working as a team on a single, unified plan, we hope to decrease the amount of time that professionals have to spend with the family.

What happens at the meetings?
At the first meeting, you will receive an information package that explains the family’s strengths, needs and priorities. The facilitator, who will be present at every meeting, will normally welcome everyone and make the introductions. The family will then update the team on what has been happening in their lives. All voices will be heard. Working as a team, we will offer suggestions and strategies, which will all be recorded. The family will choose among them according to what they believe will work best for them, but the decision-making will be a team effort.

Team meetings help to ensure that all professionals involved with the family are on the same page and are working together to develop a single, family-driven plan. This plan describes who will do what, when and where. Finally, the next meeting will be set.

What if I can’t make it to one of the meetings?
Wraparound and the family understand that you have your other commitments that may prevent you from attending meetings. When you can’t make it to a Wraparound meeting, simply let the facilitator know and he or she will update you before the next meeting. You will also be kept up to date through the Wraparound Plan that is distributed after most meetings.

What if I want to be a team member but can’t make any of the meetings?
Even if you can’t make the meetings, you can still share your expertise with the team and family through email and/or phone. The facilitator will send you an information package containing the list of team members and their contact information. Once the Wraparound Plan for each meeting has been distributed, you can include your strategies, ideas or other input by email or phone.

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Milo's Story

Every year when I was little, I’d think “this will be the year that everything will be okay”. And every year, I’d be crushed. By the time I was 18 I couldn’t take my dad’s drinking or my mom’s crying anymore, so I packed a knapsack with the warmest clothes I had and I left. It was freezing cold, and I was alone…but I was free.

The next few months were rough and at times very scary. I spent nights in parks, doorways and even under bridges all with just an old sleeping bag a friend had given me. One night it was so cold that I walked until the sun came up, afraid that I would freeze to death if I slept.

It took me awhile to get over the embarrassment to start asking people for money. But, it was swallow my pride or stay cold and hungry. After two weeks of doing this I learned about YSB. I didn’t know it then but, in that moment, my life changed for the better. I got connected to YSB’s Young Men’s Emergency Shelter and my first night in the shelter I slept 11 hours. I felt so safe and secure. I remember that moment clearly and I felt so hopeful I now have my own apartment in one of YSB’s long-term housing buildings, am attending college to become a graphic designer, and am working part-time to support myself.

“For the first time I can remember, I’m really excited about my future. Growing up I just thought about getting by one day at a time.” I hope my story conveys just how life changing it was for me to be able to access YSB’s shelter during a really difficult time in my life. The team at YSB supported me every step of the way, and I’m grateful they were by my side. I hope you’ll consider taking the opportunity to transform the life of another young person like me today.

Milo*

*While Milo’s story is real his name has been changed to protect his privacy