The School’s Role in Wraparound Systems

Posted on: 30th June 2023

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The School’s Role in Wraparound Systems

This paper will focus on the school’s role in implementing behavioral health services to reduce the likelihood of delinquency in adolescents as well as contribute to wrap around services.

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The School’s Role in Wraparound Systems

Schools play an essential role in society by imparting students academic knowledge and moral values. The adolescence stage is the most crucial in students' lives, determining the kind of people they will become in the future. Schools have the responsibility of holding students' hands and guiding them in the right way as far as society's morals and ethics are concerned (Hill, 2020). Students spend more time with their teachers than they do with their parents all through their school life. Programs such as wraparound have been introduced to help students reduce the likelihood of delinquency at the adolescence stage (Bartlett & Freeze, 2019). Most adolescents tend to go astray due to behavior changes associated with adolescence. Generally, the role of schools in wraparound systems can be examined from three perspectives—prevention for all, early interventions for some, and intensive interventions for specific students.

Wraparound systems aim at incorporating teachers, parents, family support, and students to shape students' behavior. Everyone in the wraparound system has a responsibility to play to ensure the program's goal is achieved. Teachers are responsible for monitoring student's behavior and reporting any concerns to parents and family support (Seymour, Skattebol & Pook, 2020). They are expected to try their intervention programs before calling on other stakeholders to join the trial. Generally, teachers can initiate the wraparound program when they notice some suspicious characteristics in the students. Parents have the duty of collaborating with the teachers to achieve the goals of the wraparound plan initiated by the teachers (Vargas, 2018). Parents can observe their adolescents' mental and behavioral changes and report to school. In addition, family support is a group of individuals that plays the center role of incorporating schools, parents, and community support.

The three perspectives of the school's role in wraparound systems can be explored under specific roles. Schools' role is centered on helping students to reduce the possibility of delinquency due to changes caused by the adolescence stage. Most youths in the adolescence stage tend to devil weird behaviors such as contempt for authority, drug abuse, and disrespect to parents (Lenares-Solomon, Brown & Czerepak, 2019). The increased rate of delinquency in society today is due to negligence by parents toward their children. Most parents believe that teachers have the sole responsibility of taking care of their student's behavior. Some students lack anyone back at home that can instill discipline in them (Olson et al., 2021). When adolescents are left unguided, they end up in illegal activities such as violence, crime, rape, and drug abuse. Therefore, the role of schools in wraparound systems centers on reducing delinquency among adolescent students.

Prevention for all Programs

The primary role played by this perspective is to ensure a coordinated system, information, and practices for promoting mental health and emotional development for all students. Schools get involved in various activities to ensure the well-being of all students (Hill, 2020). Teachers and school management are tasked with designing a system to monitor every students’ well-being in the wraparound system. Prevention for all programs applies universal principles that ensure each student is a priority in the wraparound system. The schools' management identifies common challenges and behavior changes exhibited by most students and develops a framework for preventing adverse effects (Bartlett & Freeze, 2019). Generally, prevention for all programs designed by schools plays different roles depending on students' conditions. Some roles include mental health skill development, social-emotional learning, and school improvements.

Mental health skills development

Schools' roles in the wraparound system include mental skill development for all students. Adolescence is a stage in the students' lives when they face various challenges that could easily trigger mental challenges. Students come from different backgrounds and interact in various environments, which could affect their mental development (Lenares-Solomon et al., 2019). For example, students from crime-prone areas could be affected by such a lifestyle since they think that is the life everyone else should live. Schools have to help such students' developmental capacity to prevent them from absorbing such negative perceptions (Olson et al., 2021). In addition, teachers, parents, and family support could collaborate to identify shared challenges in society that can affect students' mental health.

The teachers will collect data on the latest societal trends and communicate the same to the students. Such data collection and communication aim to let students know of the imminent danger if they embrace trends in society (Vargas, 2018). The school management can select a special team comprising teachers, student leaders, parents, and family support teams for mental skill development frameworks among students. The first step involves identifying the mental health issue that can affect students. Secondly, schools' management establishes teams that will initiate the wraparound system (Seymour et al., 2020). The team will develop goals of the program to be achieved and implement them. Thirdly, the team will assess the performance of the goals and recommend intervention measures. Finally, the team will evaluate the intervention measures, and the goals developed and report the outcomes to the schools' management.

Social-Emotional Learning

Students in their adolescence stage struggle with different emotional issues due to different environments they get exposed to. The school's role in the wraparound system is to help students in social-emotional learning (Lenares-Solomon et al., 2019). The schools can achieve social-emotional learning objectives by developing a special curriculum for all students. Schools engage in this form of prevention for all programs to help all students without letting anyone feel victimized or compelled (Coffey et al., 2018)). Social-emotional learning is essential for all students to shape how they interact with their colleagues at school and other people in society. Social-emotional learning has a wide effect on students, including their academic performance, social relationships, and mental wellness (Vargas, 2018). Teachers develop Social-emotional learning programs to help students in adolescence reduce the risks of getting involved with delinquency due to lack of direction.

Schools' role in wraparound systems as far as social-emotional learning is concerned is to see all students grow and live with each other without problems. Students learn their colleagues' personalities and find ways of living with them (Seymour et al., 2020). As much as schools play a central role in such programs, they cannot work without the support of stakeholders. Parents, community, and family are involved in designing social-emotional learning programs in schools (Hill, 2020). All these stakeholders have a good understanding of various issues that could cause emotional challenges among students. Some students cannot handle emotional issues, which could significantly affect their academic performance and how they live with others. Generally, a social-emotional learning program is designed to help students avoid the negative consequences of emotional imbalances.

School Improvement program

The performance of any school is rated by the students' performance in their academic programs. Most schools are concerned about their reputation, and they would want to do anything to ensure they uphold it. Schools with students at their adolescence stage are at the risk of facing various challenges caused by the students if they are not groomed into better people (Olson et al., 2021). Schools' role in the wraparound system is to ensure that students show the best of their characters in their academic performance and social and emotional perspectives. Some schools have formed a school improvement team responsible for preventing illicit behaviors among students (Bartlett & Freeze, 2019). The team has established policies and rules often spelled out to all students to guide their behaviors.

The school improvement team collects data about characteristics observed in some students and reports to the school's management for action. The team's main aim is to prevent delinquency among adolescent students in school to ensure improved performance (Lenares-Solomon et al., 2019). They also follow the same process as other teams in establishing their operational framework. The ultimate goal of the school improvement team is to improve students’ performance and help them balance their emotional and mental health needs (Vargas, 2018). The general process includes establishing a team, goals formulation, assessment criteria, intervention measures, and evaluation of performance.

Early Interventions for Some Students

Schools play the role of early interventions for some students that seems to have mental health concerns. Teachers can detect their students who are not sane in mind as they are supposed to be (Coffey et al., 2018). One of the roles of schools in the wraparound program is the early intervention for some students that tend to develop mental health issues (Hill, 2020). There are different mental health issues students face, including depression, anxiety, memory loss, dementia, development disorders, and bipolar, among others (Bartlett & Freeze, 2019). Therefore, schools play the role of detecting such challenges in their early stages to assist students in getting the proper treatment. Generally, schools play the roles of early identification, skill-building, and staff and family training.

Early Identification

Students in their adolescence are at the risk of suffering mental health issues due to various factors in their environment. Some schools organize a system planning team in charge of early identification of students at risk for mental health challenges due to specific reasons (Bartlett & Freeze, 2019). The team aims to help schools prevent such students from getting corrupted and engaging in delinquency behaviors that are not good for their academic performance. Not all adolescents suffer mental challenges, but there is a need to identify some of them and involve them in prevention programs. Early identification aims at establishing an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of mental health concerns among students (Olson et al., 2021). Early identification can also help students with mental health concerns recover and benefit from their education.

Some students with mental and emotional developmental concerns in adolescence often get exposed to drugs and substance use at an early age, affecting their cognitive development. The special team formed in schools could identify mental health concerns and refer such students to treatment centers where a comprehensive assessment will be done on them (Coffey et al., 2018). Mental health issues among students are primarily associated with illicit behaviors developed by students that draw them out of school. The primary aim of early identification programs in schools is to prevent delinquency among adolescents and shape their behaviors to represent what educated people should reflect (Hill, 2020). The team formed for the early intervention program follows the same process of assessment, goal setting, implementation, and evaluation used in other school roles in wraparound systems.

Skill-building

Schools play the role of helping their students build skills for overcoming various behavioral changes they experience during their adolescence. Skill-building aims at equipping students, teachers, parents, and family support with the necessary skills needed to prevent students from getting affected by developments in their lives (Olson et al., 2021). Adolescence is when students need much guidance from their teachers lest they join bad companies, involved in crime and drug abuse. Schools are expected to support skill-building activities through resource provisions and support (Bartlett & Freeze, 2019). In addition, they are expected to provide a framework for skills development and implementation for students that show symptoms of mental and emotional challenges.

Skill-building for students with mental health challenges involves a series of processes that the team selected by the school should follow. First, the team should formulate goals for their intervention plan. The goals will be precise and concise to the students' needs and what the school expects to achieve at the end of the program (Coffey et al., 2018). After goal setting, the next step is an assessment that involves the identification of the root cause of the mental health issue facing the students. The next step involves intervention in the outcomes of the assessment. Interventions will involve short and long-term plans that will be implemented in phases (Bartlett & Freeze, 2019). The final step involves performance evaluation of various interventions prescribed for the students. Generally, schools will follow due processes to implement skill-building programs to help students with mental health challenges live and relate with their colleagues properly.

Staff and Family Training

Wraparound systems in schools are not limited to teachers and students only but involve staff and family members of the students. Students indicating delinquency and mental health concerns affect various stakeholders, including staff and family members (Vargas, 2018). Therefore, training for staff and family members is essential to help them know how to handle the students. In addition, parents and family members of some students facing behavior changes due to adolescence get concerned when their children's academic performance drops (Hill, 2020). Therefore, schools' role in the wraparound system is to ensure that staff at school and students' family members get equipped with relevant knowledge.

Staff and family training take the form of scheduled meetings with school’s authority, specialized training sessions, and seminars. Schools set goals that they want to be achieved by the training, and every participant gets the necessary communication (Olson et al., 2021). The main aim of the training is for staff and family members to get involved in instilling positive behavior among students. Generally, staff and family training help in intervention measures to reduce delinquency among students and encourage them to develop a positive relationship with everyone in society.

Intensive Intervention for Few Students

The wraparound system can be narrowed down to specific cases observed in students and develop intensive interventions. Schools play the role of intensive interventions for a few students that have indicated serious and challenging behaviors (Coffey et al., 2018). Schools have the responsibility of developing individualized interventions for a few students. The schools' management forms a special team to collect data to determine function behavior and positive behavior plan (Seymour et al., 2020). Intensive intervention, in most cases, is coordinated between teachers, students, community, parents, and family support. Additional people get involved in the intensive intervention for a few students, including mental health professionals and juvenile justice.

Few students identified with special cases need individualized intervention to help them emerge as better people in society. Instead, schools would appoint a specialized team to deal with such students with serious conditions (Hill, 2020). The team conducts their assessment to determine why the students' conditions have reached that extent. Some comments could be used to assess students' conditions: parents hardly respond to school calls, students come from chaotic homes, parents are too busy to take care of their children, and the family is dysfunctional (Olson et al., 2021). Students exposed to such conditions are likely to develop severe emotional and mental challenges that could affect their behaviors and cognitive development.

Schools take the responsibility of ensuring students who experience severe conditions get the necessary help. However, they collaborate with various stakeholders to deliberate on the best interventions needed for specific students. The few cases tend to be extreme that the students will likely manifest ill behaviors in society when left unattended (Vargas, 2018). Therefore, schools play the role of intensive intervention for students to reduce the risk of developing delinquency while in their adolescence. Schools' role in wraparound systems is to provide a sound direction for other parties involved in intervention programs about what is best for the few students with extreme conditions.

Principles that Guide Schools’ Role in Wraparound Systems

Schools act as one of the players in the wraparound systems in society as they play the central role in coordinating and collaborating with other parties. The primary aim of the wraparound systems is to reduce the likelihood of delinquency in adolescents and contribute to the wraparound services (Coffey et al., 2018). Various principles can guide the effective implementation of the wraparound systems. They include results-oriented, community-centered, collective and collaborative, team-oriented, personalized systems (Vargas, 2018). In addition, schools have different kinds of students that face different mental and emotional challenges that could affect their academic performance and relationships with others. Therefore, schools' role in wraparound systems should be specific to every students' needs, although a general approach can surface.

The wraparound systems initiated by schools should focus on results that will be reflected in students' behavior and mental health. Therefore, schools that want to impact a role in the wraparound system positively should focus on results. Community-centered programs are needed in schools since students come from the community too (Hill, 2020). Students' behaviors will affect the community directly in one way or the other. Therefore, schools' role in wraparound systems should be community-centered.

The team selected by schools to work on the wraparound systems should use collective and collaborative approaches. They need to involve everyone relevant to the program and share ideas about making the system effective (Bartlett & Freeze, 2019). In addition, teamwork is necessary for achieving the primary goal of wraparound programs in schools. Therefore, schools need to select people with a teamwork spirit to stir the system's objectives. Conclusively, the activities of the schools' team should aim at solving individual needs.

Conclusion

Students at the adolescence stage of their lives are at greater risk of suffering mental and emotional challenges. These challenges could affect their cognitive development and their behaviors in society. Schools have the responsibility to get involved in wraparound systems to reduce the likelihood of delinquency in adolescence. Some students get into crime, drug and substance, robbery, and violence due to ineffective management in adolescence. Teachers, parents, mental health professionals, and family support teams should work together to help reduce the risk of delinquency in adolescents. Schools play an essential role in developing teams that will formulate wraparound goals to be achieved. The team will then assess the goals and suggest intervention measures. Finally, the team will evaluate the performance of the interventions and provide further suggestions. Generally, schools' roles include prevention for all, early interventions for some, and intensive interventions for a few students. Therefore, schools' role in wraparound systems is dynamic because it takes three different perspectives. 

References

Bartlett, N. A., & Freeze, T. B. (2019). Examining Wraparound Fidelity for Youth with Mental Health Needs: An Illustrative Example of Two Rural Canadian Schools. International Journal of Special Education, 33(4), 846-868. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1219408

Coffey, S. E., Stallworth, L., Majors, T., Higgs, K., Gloster, L., Carter, Y., & Ekhator, K. (2018). Using the cluster support team and multi-tiered systems of support to provide wraparound services in a large urban school district. https://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/nyar_savannah/2018/2018/18/

Hill, R. A. (2020). Wraparound: A key component of school-wide culture competence to support academics and socio-emotional well-being. Peabody Journal of Education, 95(1), 66-72. https://doi.org/10.1080/0161956X.2019.1702424

Lenares-Solomon, D., Brown, M. H., & Czerepak, R. (2019). The necessity for school-based mental health services. Journal of Professional Counseling: Practice, Theory & Research, 46(1-2), 3-13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15566382.2019.1674074

Olson, J. R., Benjamin, P. H., Azman, A. A., Kellogg, M. A., Pullmann, M. D., Suter, J. C., & Bruns, E. J. (2021). Systematic review and meta-analysis: Effectiveness of Wraparound Care Coordination for children and adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 60(11), 1353-1366. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2021.02.022

Seymour, K., Skattebol, J., & Pook, B. (2020). Compounding education disengagement: COVID-19 lockdown, the digital divide and wrap-around services. Journal of Children's Services. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JCS-08-2020-0049

Vargas Jr, R. (2018). Implementation Research and School-Based Wraparound: A User's Handbook for Implementation (Doctoral dissertation, Alliant International University). https://www.proquest.com/openview/7bb0cc500533f435609ce41b0daa7179/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750

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