High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW) is a team-based, collaborative process for developing and implementing individualized plans for youth with complex behavioral health and/or other challenges, and their families.

The HFW process aims to achieve positive outcomes by providing a structured, creative and individualized team planning process that, compared to traditional treatment planning, results in plans that are more effective and more relevant to the child and family. HFW plans are more holistic than traditional care plans in that they are designed to meet the identified needs of caregivers and siblings and to address a range of life areas and social determinants of health. Through the team-based planning and implementation process – as well as availability of research-based interventions that can address priority needs of youth and caregivers, HFW aims to develop problem-solving skills and coping skills that will assist the youth and family in becoming self-sufficient. (National Wraparound Initiative, 2012).

Theory of Change

The HFW process is driven by a four-part theory of change that enables youth and families to learn how to use their resources and the help of others to overcome challenges and to achieve their hopes and dreams. These four parts are:

1. Youth and Family Prioritize Needs

HFW helps the youth and family to prioritize and focus on their most pressing needs.

3. Integrated Planning

Youth and families often have complex and multiple needs that require support from several different agencies and/or systems. Bringing together all providers, systems, and support networks with an integrated and simplified plan for the whole family helps with success.

2. Natural Supports

The HFW workforce assists in developing and strengthening the family’s natural support network in order to sustain the youth and family in the future.

4. Self-Efficacy

The HFW process assists the youth and family in developing the skills and confidence to believe they can successfully manage their challenges and continue to do it after HFW ends.

“HFW represents an innovative way to address the needs of those children with the greatest behavioral health challenges and their families, whose needs historically have gone unaddressed.”

Child Psychiatrist


High Fidelity Wraparound done with fidelity to the research proven model follows a set of 10 principles and four phases that consist of specific tasks and activities to bring together youth, family, friends, natural supports, service providers, and representatives of child-serving systems such as education, child welfare, juvenile justice, substance use, and behavioral health.


Phase One – Engagement

  • Orient the Youth and Family to High Fidelity Wraparound
  • Crisis Stabilization
  • Develop Strengths, Needs, and Culture Discovery
  • Engage Team Members
  • Make Meeting Arrangements