Wraparound is a framework of care designed to build support networks among students with emotional and behavioral concerns. Wraparound is flexibly arranged to meet the unique needs of students and their families. It is family centered and strength based. Plans address multiple life domains including educational, cultural, living environment and basic needs. Although plans can fail, students can never fail within the Wraparound process. In order to ensure success, the team always reconfigures services and supports.

Guiding principles

Wraparound has 10 guiding principles.  The elements have been summarized by Burns and Goldman (1999).

  • Strength-based family leadership
  • Team based
  • Flexible funding/services
  • Individualized
  • Perseverance
  • Outcome Focused
  • Community based
  • Culturally competent
  • Natural supports
  • Collaborative

Why wraparound framework?

As of 2010, there have been nine controlled studies of Wraparound that have been published in peer reviewed publications and “…the ‘weight of the evidence’ of these studies indicates superior outcomes for youth who receive Wrap Around compared to similar youth who receive some alternative service.  On the strength of these studies, as well as others currently being completed, it is likely that Wrap Around will increasingly be referred to as an ‘evidence-based’ process in the future.” (Bruns, E. J., &Suter, J.C., 2010)

A meta-analysis of seven of these studies has recently been published showing consistent and significant outcomes in favor of the Wraparound group compared to control groups across a wide range of outcome domains, including residential placement, mental health outcomes, school success, and juvenile justice recidivism (Suter &Bruns, 2009)

Wraparound Studies that were identified as school-based programs produced results indicating that schoolbased Wraparound can effectively retain youth in their home schools and communities (Eber, et al, 2008)

How do I get involved?

Wraparound is a learning opportunity provided to educators and community providers work­ing with Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) schools in AEA 267. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support is a set of individualized and systematic strategies for achieving social and learning outcomes, while preventing problem behavior. This learning opportunity is designed for a sub­group of the PBIS leadership school teams who have been through all years of PBIS training at AEA 267.

What can this do for me?

Wraparound will be particularly beneficial for reinforcing sustain­ability of PBIS and for having school personnel and community providers speak a common language when developing behavior plans aligned with student needs. Individual student plans address multiple life domains including educational, cultural, living environment and basic needs.

How does wraparound support PBIS?

At AEA 267 Wraparound is a process for developing effective individualized plans for students who need more than school-wide (universal) or targeted interventions within the PBIS school process.  As PBIS schools establish effective universal systems for the 80-90% of students in their buildings, they develop readiness to implement effective plans for students who require more in order to succeed. The Wraparound approach is part of the PBIS system as it offers a means for schools to succeed with youth who need an individualized comprehensive plan that crosses home, school, and community.

How does PBIS support wraparound?

The Wraparound process is a tool that creates the ownership and clarity about behavior change that is needed to improve outcomes for students, and their families and teachers. Wraparound supports youth and their families by coordinating interagency supports and services with effective behavior, academic, and social interventions.  Positive behavior supports and effective academic strategies are important components of Wraparound plans.  In addition, a functional assessment process is often needed to guide the team in designing interventions.   Without this functional assessment, comprehensive services are often uncoordinated, duplicated, and ineffective.


External resources


Do you have questions? Want to know more? Get in touch with us!

AEA Clear Lake Office

Name Title Email
Dea Ellen Epley Birtwistle AEA 267 Wraparound Trainer Email: Dea Epley Birtwistle