Family Centered Services

California Wraparound

Wraparound Logo

What is Wraparound?

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) describes Wraparound as a strengths-based planning process that occurs in a team setting to engage with children, youth, and their families. Wraparound shifts focus away from a traditional service-driven, problem-based approach to care and instead follows a strengths-based, needs-driven approach.  The intent is to build on individual and family strengths to help families achieve positive goals and improve well-being. Wraparound is also a team-driven process.  From the start, a child and family team is formed and works directly with the family as they identify their own needs and strengths.  The team develops a service plan that  describes specific strategies for meeting the needs identified by the family.  The service plan is individualized, with strategies that reflect the child and family's culture and preferences.  California Wraparound is intended to allow children to live and grow up in a safe, stable, permanent family environment.  For children and families in the foster care system, the Wraparound process can:

  • Enhance strengths by creating a strength-based intervention plan with a child and family team;
  • Promote youth and parent involvement with family voice, choice, and preference;
  • Use community-based services;
  • Create independence and stability;
  • Provide services that fit a child and family's identified needs, culture, and preferences;
  • Create one plan to coordinate responses in all life domains; and
  • Focus on achieving positive goals.

Background History

In 1997, Wraparound was established in California under Senate Bill (SB) 163 (Chapter 795, Statutes of 1997) which allows California counties to develop a Wraparound Services program using State and county Aid to Families with Dependent Children -Foster Care (AFDC-FC) dollars.This legislation permits counties to use the funding for planning and service delivery instead of  for placing children/youth in high-level group homes. The intent of the legislation was to return children and youth in group home care to their homes and communities or help children at imminent risk of placement in high-end group homes to remain in their homes. Wraparound may also be used for children who are eligible for Adoption Assistance Program benefits.

The SB 163 Legislation requires Wraparound services to:

  • Be family centered, individualized, culturally relevant, and strength based;
  • Be team and community based;
  • Identify and rely on a family's natural & community supports, 
  • Develop a child and family team plan to identify service needs;
  • Place child in the least restrictive environment;
  • Track and evaluate outcomes;
  • Reinvest cost saving into child welfare programs.

The Wraparound process can eliminate barriers to service delivery by supporting and strengthening families.  In addition, Wraparound can reduce the risk of out-of-home placement and recidivism by bringing individuals, agencies, and the community together as a decision-making team with the central focus on meeting the needs of the child and family.

Senate Bill 163

The CDSS has developed training criteria and program standards for implementing a quality program using the Wraparound process.   The California Wraparound Standards were recently updated and issued via All County Information Notice I-52-15.  Counties wishing to participate in Wraparound may contact CDSS indicating an interest in developing a program. Counties are required to design and submit a Wraparound Implementation  plan to CDSS for information purposes, and technical assistance is available from CDSS.  County staff and providers who participate in Wraparound are required to attend State-approved Wraparound training prior to the start of service delivery.  Training components include a Basic Overview, Introduction and Engagement, and Facilitation and Skills building.  In addition, technical support is available for all stages of planning, program development, and implementation.

As of August 2011, of the 58 counties in California, there are 47 counties offering Wraparound Services.

Contact Us

For More Information:

California Department of Social Services
Children and Family Services Division
Child Protection and Family Support Branch
Integrated Services Unit
744 P Street, MS 8-11-86
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-6600  

General Resources

County Resources

Sample AAP Wraparound Authorization Form
Published with permission from the Kinship Center

Sample Family Wraparound Agreement Form
Published with permission from the Kinship Center

Wraparound Links

Letters and Notices

Letters and Notices