Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by so many needs happening all at once? Are you involved in many services at the same time but they’re just not working for you—or you can’t get service? Do you feel like your ideas for your family or yourself are not being taken seriously?
WrapAround is a life-planning process that puts you or your family in charge. It builds on what you can do, not what you can’t do. It wraps community that you choose around you when you are alone. It offers hope for a better life when life circumstances seem to be driving out all hope.
With WrapAround, you speak with a trained facilitator (either a community volunteer or a paid staff person) about your hopes and dreams for yourself and your family (if applicable). You and the facilitator then identify your gifts (your strengths) and your needs, and you pick a group of people who will form your WrapAround team–people who know you, like family and friends, and whose advice you trust. The team could include some or all of the professionals you are working with–that’s up to you. With the help of your team, you then decide on action steps for meeting your goals, based on your and the team’s strengths.
Seem far-fetched? It’s not. It’s being done all over North America, and the evidence shows that WrapAround is a best practice in helping people with complex needs to have a better life.
- Voice and choice
- No shame, no blame
- Nothing about us without us
- Strength-based, needs-driven
- Never give up (unconditional care)
- One plan
- Close to home
- Community counts
Shalem is actively engaged in delivering a WrapAround service as a community-owned, community-driven initiative in Hamilton. We support WrapAround Northumberland and Chatham-Kent. We are also deeply involved in the WrapAround Association of Ontario and in national developments through Wrap Canada. And we are working with churches in various places in Ontario to develop and deliver faith-based WrapAround.
You can read a complete update, as of July 2020, about WrapAround Hamilton’s initiative here.
“WrapAround helped our family feel embraced by the church community. People cared and we were able to share our emotions, joys and concerns with people we knew would understand. It seems that when there is a serious diagnosis or disability within a family that people often don’t know how to approach or help. The family is left then to initiate or seek out what help might be available. So for us before WrapAround we felt isolated and very lonely. Having a group of people that we chose to turn to is like having an extended family. The group idea also helps because no one person gets burned out. The structure of WrapAround, having specific goals, time limited meetings and working from a strengths base, ensures that there are not huge expectations placed on people. Having people come alongside us has been so helpful and we are thankful to feel more a part of our church family.”
Elske De Visch Eybergen, Volunteer Facilitator Coach and Trainer
Libby Cook, Chair of the WrapAround Hamilton Leadership Team
Mark Vander Vennen, Executive Director, Shalem Mental Health Network