As many as 500 children 12 and under get into trouble with the law each year in Orange County, and most have an underlying emotional disorder. Wraparound Orange was founded in 2009 to tackle this problem and to try to make sure that a child’s first contact with the Juvenile Justice system is their last.
Instead of focusing solely on a child’s presenting behavioral disorder — the “what’s wrong with you” approach — Wraparound Orange understands that many factors affect mental health. Wraparound Orange helps families put together a team of supporters and provides an array of services tailored to each family’s unique needs. Wraparound’s strength-based, family-centered approach respects parent and child, respects cultural and language differences, and helps families build community connections that will provide support long after the intervention is over.
Research shows that the Wraparound approach works – in other communities it has helped families stay together and helped kids stay in school, out of the hospital, and out of jail. In just a few years, Wraparound Orange has provided services to more than 200 local families and is on track to help hundreds more achieve their dream of having a mentally healthy child, a stable family life, and self-sufficiency. Wraparound’s dream is to provide every child in Orange County with access to this type of flexible, respectful, cost-efficient, culturally competent care. But change is never easy. Wraparound will need broad community support to accomplish that goal.