System of Care

Wraparound adheres to the System of Care (SOC) values and principles, which together represent a guiding philosophy for service planning and delivery, rather than a prescription for which services should be provided.

The SOC concept was first defined by Stroul and Friedman in 1986, offering a new paradigm in response to calls for reform in children’s mental health.

The SOC philosophical framework consists of a set of three core values and 10 guiding principles that assist service providers in meeting the needs and youth and their families.

The three SOC core values are that services should be:

  1. Youth Centered and Family Focused – services are individualized and are based on the needs of the youth and the family
  2. Community based – services are provided within or close to the youth’s home community in the least restrictive setting possible
  3. Culturally competent – services are provided by counsellors who are aware of their own culture, as well as the culture of the youth and family they support. Diversity is valued and acknowledged

The ten SOC guiding principles are as follows:

  1. Children have access to a comprehensive array of services
  2. Services are individualized
  3. Services are offered within the least restrictive environment
  4. Families are included as full participants in service planning and delivery
  5. Services are integrated and coordinated
  6. Case management is provided to ensure service coordination and system navigation
  7. The system promotes early identification and intervention
  8. Children with severe emotional disturbance (SED) are ensured a smooth transition to adult services when they reach maturity
  9. The rights of children with SED are protected
  10. Children with SED receive services regardless of race, religion, national origin, physical disability, or other characteristics.

Read more about the System of Care at

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