During assessment, we introduce ourselves and the program, and learn more about the family through discussion and by using 4 assessment tools. We also spend time identifying and addressing any immediate safety concerns. Our assessment process empowers youth and families to express their needs, to identify what resources and capacities they have that can assist them, and to identify where there are gaps and how, in fact, we can help them to help themselves. We also reach out to other important stakeholders in the family’s life to learn their perspective on the family’s need and strengths.
Upon completion of the assessment process, we build a team with the family that will help them develop their plan and support them in achieving their goals. The team includes both formal supports, such as system and service representatives, as well as informal supports, such as extended family, friends, coaches, pastors, etc. We meet with each team member to learn their perspective on the family’s strengths and needs and how they can help. Everyone on the team has a role to play.
After meeting with the family team members, we develop an individualized service plan that is shared with all team members and becomes the basis of our work with the family. The plan is frequently reviewed and revised to assess progress and also to include any needs. We also develop a thorough safety plan during this time.
In 2011-2012, YAP worked with high fidelity wraparound experts John Vandenbergh and Jim Rast at Vroon Vandenberg LTD to strengthen our wraparound practices. As a result, 150 staff competencies were defined to guide our work with families throughout services. These competencies inform our training and quality improvement processes.