Models of Working with Family Advocates


Wraparound uses professional staff and natural supports to literally “wrap” services around identified children and their families.  Wraparound is a child-centered, strengths-based system, focusing on the child’s and family’s strengths as major tools.

Wraparound is a complex, multifaceted intervention strategy designed to keep youth with serious mental health conditions, including youth who are delinquent, at home and out of institutions whenever possible. This strategy involves “wrapping” a comprehensive array of individualized services and support networks “around” young people, rather than forcing them to enroll in pre-determined, inflexible treatment programs.

MORE INFO: OJJDP Model Programs Guide, Wraparound/Case Management

PDF RESOURCE: Promising Practices Wraparound

PDF RESOURCE: Wraparound Process to the Role of Family Partners on Wraparound Teams

PDF RESOURCE: The Wraparound Process: An Overview of Implementation Essentials

Case Management

Conventional case management services provide youth with an individual case manager (or probation officer) who guides them through the existing social services or juvenile justice system. Case management programs can have a significant impact on the behavior of at-risk youth.

According to the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Programs Model Program Guide, successful examples of case management services include Baltimore’s Choice Program and San Francisco’s Detention Diversion Advocacy Program. Both have produced promising results by providing at-risk youth and juvenile offenders with intensive supervision and individualized treatment plans.

MORE INFO: OJJDP Model Programs Guide, Wraparound/Case Management

Other examples of successful case management programs partnering with family advocates can be found in the following document. 

PDF RESOURCE: Description of Promising Care Management Case Management Approaches

Team Decision Making 

Family to Family Team Decision Making (TDM) involves families and community members, along with the families’ resources, service providers and agency staff, in all placement decisions, to ensure a network of support for the child and the adults who care for them.

TDM staffings bring together family members along with all organizations and agencies with services available to families involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. In addition, other  organizations represented may include legal services, mental health, law enforcement, faith-based, Colorado Works, and community-based organizations. The result of the TDM process is a coordinated plan for the family and juvenile that assists them in successfully completing probation or  exiting the child welfare system.

PDF RESOURCE: Family and Preventative Services in Colorado

PDF RESOURCE: Family to Family Key Elements: Team Decision Making

Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) recognizes the importance of involving families in decision making about children who need protection or care, and it can be initiated by child welfare agencies whenever a critical decision about a child is required. In FGDM processes, a trained coordinator, who is independent of the case, brings together the family and the agency personnel to create and carry out a plan to safeguard children and other family members. FGDM positions the family to lead decision making, and the statutory authorities agree to support the family plans that adequately address agency concerns. The statutory authorities also organize service providers from governmental and non-governmental agencies to access resources for implementing the plans. FGDM processes actively seek the collaboration and leadership of families in crafting and implementing plans that support the safety, permanency and well-being of their children.

PDF RESOURCE: Family Team Decision Making