Examining Wraparound Fidelity for Youth with Mental Health Needs: An Illustrative Example of Two Rural Canadian Schools
December 03, 2019 | NWI
Citation: Bartlett, N. A., & Freeze, T. B. (2019). Examining Wraparound Fidelity for Youth with Mental Health Needs: An Illustrative Example of Two Rural Canadian Schools. International Journal of Special Education, 33(4), 846-868.
Abstract: Addressing the mental health needs of children and youth is a priority. One way to operationalize the provision of support for children and youth with severe mental health needs is through the wraparound approach. Wraparound is a highly individualized person and family centred planning process which utilizes a clearly articulated practice model, and is led by trained wraparound facilitators. This research examined the fidelity of implementation of the wraparound approach for two youths with severe mental health needs in two rural schools in the province of Manitoba, Canada. Adherence to the guiding principles and primary activities of the wraparound approach were measured using the Wraparound Fidelity Index 4.0 (WFI-EZ), a self-report tool that was administered with caregivers, wraparound facilitators and team members. Facilitation skills and teamwork also were examined through the independent observation of wraparound planning meetings using the Team Observation Measure (TOM-2). These fidelity measures determine model adherence, which has been associated with improved behavioral outcomes for children and youth with severe mental health needs, and quality improvements in service provision. The findings of low average-to-average overall fidelity are encouraging given that these school-based settings are in the emergent stage of wraparound implementation, and demonstrate their ability of schools to adhere to many of the key elements of the wraparound approach. Areas of high fidelity and low fidelity are discussed, and recommendations for quality improvements in wraparound implementation in school-based settings are proposed.