The Vision of WrapAround
It used to be that families were part of meaningful communities. When a problem arose, whether it was raising children or raising a barn, the extended family, neighbours, and fellow church members would “wrap around” the family. Together they would overcome the challenge the family faced. Today, WrapAround operates in the same way. Church, neighbourhood, and community volunteers come along side families to let them know they’re not alone and provide some practical help.
WrapAround helps by providing tools for planning and problem-solving, along with supportive relationships in the form of a WrapAround team, to help achieve a better life.
WrapAround treats individuals holistically. The goal is not just to fix a particular problem, but also to equip participants to take charge of their own lives so they can confidently face whatever problem may arise.
We teach participants not only to see the good in their own lives, but also positive influences in the lives of those around them. We all need the support of a loving community. In WrapAround, we try to gather up the elements of goodness in
people’s lives and bring them together into a critical mass that makes something good happen.
Where does the family see themselves in six, twelve or eighteen months? Where are they living? What are they doing? Who are the people in their lives? The focus is not on what we think participants need, but on their goals whatever they may be. The facilitator’s role here, as throughout the whole process, is to be a great encourager.
Bringing a better future into reality means not being enslaved to the
moment. WrapAround facilitators teach the family and team to plan step by step for the accomplishment of their vision.
In WrapAround, we work toward turning people’s attention from their problems to the gifts, abilities and other resources they have which can help them overcome their problems. The emphasis is on creating a strengths-based, optimistic mind-set for the family.
The sense of satisfaction gained from achieving a goal can restore
participants’ self-confidence and lead them to believe they can do much more.
The team perseveres together with the participants until their goals are
Jenn: The Story of an Overcomer
Her mother’s addiction and life in the underworld of drugs meant Jenn was raised in a completely dysfunctional environment—one in which the door was opened to her suffering much abuse starting from the age of four. Consequently, despite Jenn’s amazing resilience and strength of character, the financial strain and other demands of raising three children had completely worn her out. Adding to her stress was the partner she lived with whom she did not find helpful to say the least. All this left her in a fragile emotional and mental state. Depression weighed her down; she cried often and had frequent angry outbursts.
After Andrew spoke one Sunday morning at a church service, Jenn approached him in tears desperate for change. Shortly thereafter, she began WrapAround and with the steady encouragement of her team, she made wonderful progress. She quickly accomplished her goal of attaining emotional stability. With mentoring by two team members, she learned to better restrain her tendency to impulsive buying as well as to budget her money better. She opened a savings account and significantly reduced her debt.
She had a goal to work with young children, but as Jenn recently told NeighbourLink’s Annual General Meeting, she always thought going to college was an impossible dream for her. Not any more! She’s now enrolled in Lambton College taking Early Childhood Education and doing exceptionally well on virtually all her tests!
Most importantly, she has grown dramatically as a person. Previously, she could not find the inner strength to end the relationship that kept pulling her down even though she knew she must. However, through several friendships with women on the team, she was able to see her God-given value. She realized she didn’t have to stay in the unhealthy world she’d always known, but that she and her children were meant for a better life.
Thank you, Jenn, for showing us inspiring courage and perseverance!
Ryan & Preston's WrapAround Story
Ryan was struggling to manage his own life well, and this was affecting his ability to parent his son, Preston. WrapAround was able to offer the friendship and support Ryan needed to be the dad Preston needs.
Louisa's WrapAround Story
Louisa had some major blows in life including the removal of a brain tumour and a stroke which robbed much of her ability to speak. Though she had made improvements by the time WrapAround started, she often had difficulty in expressing herself. She was also not in a good place mentally or emotionally. A couple of family relationships caused her extreme emotional angst. As a result, Louisa felt isolated. She wanted to get more involved in her community, but without a sense of control over her life, she was stuck and not hopeful that things could change.
However, with the regular encouragement from a wonderful WrapAround team, her life began to change dramatically. They encouraged Louisa to get involved with New Beginnings, a club which supports survivors of brain injury. This proved to be a lifesaver as Louisa found meaningful activities and social interaction there. She was able to expand her woodworking talents and also found a huge opportunity for physical exercise which contributed to her losing about 200 pounds which led to greater self-confidence. Even more than that, she found opportunities to help other people, for example, a friend who had lost some fingers and individuals who had had seizures.
Because the thing she needed most was a sense of inner peace and security, Louisa chose to have her team meetings consist mostly of scripture meditation and discussion. The comfort from God’s word as well as the warmth of friendship in the
room helped give her a much lighter and calmer disposition. She made huge gains in her mental/emotional health and ability to cope. Being more at peace helped her to relax when speaking and consequently her speech is much more fluent now.
Her new positive state of mind enabled Louisa to do a remarkable amount of decluttering and organizing in her home. She painted pretty much her whole house as well as hung a bathroom door.
Although the family relationships haven’t changed, Louisa does not have the same anxiety about them. She knows she has done what she can and is now able to leave these difficult relationships in the hands of God. Louisa is much happier and hopeful. She describes herself as “a totally different person.” Her success, in fact, inspired the whole team who were shown by Louisa, that if we trust God, he will bring us through even the darkest valley!
• We empower the participants and let them know they are in charge of making decisions for their life
• We focus on their strengths
• We teach them how to plan and problem-solve (what are their goals, what are the next steps they want to take)
• We stick with them while they continuously evaluate, adjust, and work on their plan, celebrating their results together
• We bring positive people who have participants' best interests at heart together in a supportive team
• We encourage people and let them know they are not alone
• We keep them accountable for the things they said they would do
• We bring them into mentoring relationships