Welcome Aboard!

Paper Boat is a cargo ship that Pat and I use to share materials that we’ve developed for our workshops on strength-based practice and inter-agency collaboration.  It has been sailing, more or less, for about 20 years, and as you dig through the accumulated power points and articles in our hold you can trace the convoluted course we have followed through the shifting tides of system change and practice innovation.

Most of the materials on our manifest are souvenirs we’ve brought back from our ongoing adventures into the wild lands of Wraparound.  Even after all these years, I don’t think anyone is completely sure what Wrap is, but we have tried out best to capture the essence of what it has come to mean for us.

Essentially, we think Wrap is a tool for collaborative problem solving when individuals and families have complex needs, and for integrating multiple formal and informal sources of support and assistance in response to those needs.  At its heart it is a simple approach that anyone can use, but it is not easy to install as a component of a large service system, nor is it easy to insure consistency and effectiveness in its implementation.

Throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and even in New Zealand and Australia, many agencies, organizations and individuals are using variations of Wraparound in their service systems.  Most often it is applied in connection with services for families with children who have severe emotional disorders, but increasingly the elements of Wrap are being use in a variety of other situations, including assistance for older adults, transition age youth, adults in the correctional system and individuals with chronic diseases.

We do not have a copyright on Wraparound or sole license on explaining how to use Wrap.  All we can do is let you know what we’ve discovered in our voyages over the past two decades.  There are a variety of other sources and perspectives worth checking out.  Then you can decide what approach will work best for you and those you are helping.

One thing you might notice, especially if you look through the materials we have prepared over time, is that our understanding of what constitutes Wraparound, and how the techniques of Wraparound can be used to improve the fit between the help we offer and the needs of the people we serve has evolved.  Looking at what has worked, and what hasn’t in the various implementations of Wraparound and related practice models has provided us with some insights, but also lead us to be more cautious about making statements that would seem to portray Wraparound as a universal panacea.  It’s not.  By itself Wrap is simply an excellent connector.  To be effective a system using wraparound also has to have good both formal and informal resources to share with those in need, and the means to rapidly adapt those resources to align with the culture, preferences and unique situation of each person or family being served.

Pat and I are independent consultants.  We don’t represent any agency or perspective other than our own.  Our approach is to partner with each of our clients to develop service systems that make sense for them and in the context and environment in which they are working, while reflecting the core values of collaborative, strength-based, outcome-focused, individualized and person-centered care.

The links on the left hand side will connect you to the various wares we have collected.

The Article Archive contains both articles and practice guides.

The Residentialy-Based Services section contains materials developed to help the state of California establish four pilot projects that integrate residential and community-based services for children and youth with severe emotional and behavioral disorders and their families.

The Presentation section contains power point presentations from workshops we have given for our clients.  The newest addition comes from the keynote and workshops John was invited to deliver at the national wrap conference hosted by Clermont County in Cincinnati in September of 2013.  For those of you who were wondering who Wraparound Jones is, this is your chance to learn more about him.

The Virtual Workshops section contains longer presentations from longer training sessions.

The Directive Supervision section describes Pat’s system for providing strength-based, data-driven management of human service agencies and provides a link to the Directive Supervision web site.

The services section tells more about how we approach the help we offer our clients.

As with any trunk filled with accumulated memories, the newer stuff is on top.

Thanks for coming aboard.


Pat Miles and John Franz