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Wraparound Fidelity Assessment System

Click here for Chapter 5 from the Resource Guide: Measuring Wraparound Fidelity, by Eric Bruns.

Click here for frequently asked questions (FAQ's) regarding the WFAS.


Overview. The Wraparound Fidelity Assessment System (WFAS) is a multi-method approach to assessing the quality of individualized care planning and management for children and youth with complex needs and their families. WFAS instruments include interviews with multiple stakeholders, a team observation measure, and an instrument to assess the level of system support for wraparound. The instruments that comprise the WFAS can be used individually or, to provide a more comprehensive assessment, in combination with one another.

The measures that comprise the WFAS include:

  • The Wraparound Fidelity Index, v. 4

    The Wraparound Fidelity Index 4.0 (WFI-4) is a set of four interviews that measures the nature of the wraparound process that an individual family receives. The WFI-4 is completed through brief, confidential telephone or face-to-face interviews with four types of respondents: caregivers, youth (11 years of age or older), wraparound facilitators, and team members. It is important to gain the unique perspectives of all these informants to understand fully how wraparound is being implemented. A demographic form is also part of the WFI-4 battery.

    The WFI-4 interviews are organized by the four phases of the wraparound process (Engagement and Team Preparation, Initial Planning, Implementation, and Transition). In addition, the 40 items of the WFI interview are keyed to the 10 principles of the wraparound process, with 4 items dedicated to each principle. In this way, the WFI-4 interviews are intended to assess both conformance to the wraparound practice model as well as adherence to the principles of wraparound in service delivery.

  • To download a copy of the latest WFI-4 psychometrics, click here.

  • The Team Observation Measure

    The Team Observation Measure (TOM) is employed by external evaluators to assess adherence to standards of high-quality wraparound during team meeting sessions. It consists of 20 items, with two items dedicated to each of the 10 principles of wraparound. Each item consists of 2-4 indicators of high-quality wraparound practice as expressed during a child and family team meeting. Working alone or in pairs, trained raters indicate the whether or not each indicator was in evidence during the wraparound team meeting session. These ratings are translated into a score for each item as well as a total fidelity score for the session overall.

  • The Wraparound Fidelity Index, Short Version (WFI-EZ)

    The Wraparound Fidelity Index, Short Version (WFI-EZ) has been pilot tested and is ready for use by the public. We here at WERT have developed a brief, self-report version of the Wraparound Fidelity Index v.4. The goal was to create a reliable and valid measure of adherence to the wraparound principles that is easier to administer and less time consuming than the full WFI interview protocol. The WFI-EZ will be less burdensome in three main ways:

    1. The WFI-EZ only has 37 items, organized in a way that allows the respondent to skip items that are not applicable.
    2. The WFI-EZ will be completed by self-report, rather than via an interview.
    3. Items on the caregiver, youth, team member and facilitator versions of the WFI-EZ will be parallel to one another. This will promote more straightforward scoring and interpretation of the data.

  • The Community Supports for Wraparound Inventory

    The CSWI is a research and quality improvement tool intended to measure how well a local system supports the implementation of the wraparound process. The CSWI is based on the framework of Necessary Conditions described by Walker, Koroloff and Schutte (2003), and presents 40 community or system variables that ideally are in place in communities that aim to implement the wraparound process. The CSWI is somewhat unique from the other WFAS instruments in that it assesses the system context for wraparound as opposed to the fidelity to the practice model for an individual child and family.

    The CSWI can be used in several ways. First, it results in a quantified assessment of community supports for wraparound across multiple domains, so that researchers can determine the impact of these conditions on fidelity and outcomes of the wraparound process. Second, it presents the level of support across multiple domains (such as funding, collaboration, and accountability) so that evaluators and stakeholders can understand the full context for wraparound implementation as part of their local evaluation projects. Third, items and domains are structured so that local groups can assess community supports for wraparound, respond to areas of strength and weakness, and monitor improvements over time.

Uses. Fidelity measurement is a core implementation support to evidence-based practices. The WFAS provides a method for conducting fidelity measurement for the wraparound process, as specified by the National Wraparound Initiative.

As a fidelity measurement system, WFAS instruments were designed to support both program improvement as well as research. With respect to program improvement, sites or programs delivering services via the wraparound process can generate profiles, organized by the prescribed activities of the wraparound process or the 10 principles of wraparound, to illuminate areas of relative strength and weakness. This information can be used to guide program planning, training, and quality assurance.

With respect to research, data from WFAS instruments can help evaluate whether the wraparound process has been adequately implemented, and thus aid interpretation of outcomes. In addition, researchers on youth and family services may wish to use WFAS instruments to measure the relationship between adherence to the wraparound model and outcomes, as a way to explore which aspects of service delivery are most important to child and family well-being.

Other uses. Although the WFAS instruments were not intended originally for use on the individual family level, this type of analysis could provide useful guidance to wraparound teams around the quality of implementation for a specific family. However, great care would have to be undertaken in order to insure confidentiality of the family and staff persons involved. Finally, though WFAS instruments have not been used widely as a standards conformance or certification assessment, there has been some interest in adapting the WFAS tools for this purpose. Local communities and jurisdictions will need to carefully examine their own practice model, local standards, and/or requirements in order to determine whether WFAS tools are adequately in alignment to be used as a support to compliance or accreditation.