Written by Elizabeth Dolan, Counselor
Families seeking help are often not familiar with the resources that can be provided unless they have gone through this type of experience in the past. I will help provide some of the overarching terms that can feel daunting to a family new to the mental health healing process. One of the terms is called Wraparound Services (WRAP) which can be described as community based, individualized, and comprehensive mental, emotional, behavioral, and social services and care for people in need, like helpless children and their parents. These services incorporate an individual’s social, emotional, health, academic, and sometimes occupational needs, and recruit multiple providers from within the community like teachers or medical professionals.
Another term used is Child and Family Team (CFT) Meetings. These team meetings can be very beneficial between children, parents, and human service providers for goal setting and to make the necessary changes to successfully reunify families. Often providers can work with the family to construct a plan for meeting appropriate goals as well as offering resources and support.
In the school system the term Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are often discussed. IEPs are developed primarily by school personnel in the special education department in response to the needs of specific children who are not performing well at school for mental, emotional, behavioral, familial, and/or social reasons. This is a good resource if the patient is not meeting success at school and progressing at a certain rate in comparison to other on-level students.
The final term I will talk about is Team Decision Meetings (TDMs). These meetings are held between different social service providers before important decisions are made on behalf of the child. During these meetings, providers develop a suitable course of action given the family’s circumstances to help update the different organizations on the progress of a family. These terms can be briefed over very quickly by the different parties and it is important as a family to understand the context to help best serve the patient.