Mackenzie Soniak is a 2019 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee

  • Martha B. Straus, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • James Fauth, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • E. Porter Eagan, Psy.D. Committee Member


wraparound, system of care, caregiver, qualitative method, backwards mapping, fidelity

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A large number of youth in the United States suffer from a severe emotional disturbance (SED). Due to a number of factors (e.g., lack of access to services, siloed service providers), many of these children have unmet severe emotional and behavioral health needs. Wraparound has been identified as a care philosophy and intervention to meet the needs of these youth. Wraparound programs aim to provide individualized, comprehensive, community-based care for children and their families. Although this intervention is widely spread across the United States, research findings on the efficacy of the approach are mixed. Previous research aimed to identify and understand the most beneficial components of wraparound, while noting how contextual and regional factors can impact the delivery of these components. Some explorations have utilized a qualitative methodology; however, to date, most of the qualitative research focuses on the perspectives of service providers while neglecting the essential perspectives of caregivers and youth served by wraparound programs. This dissertation aimed to better understand a wraparound program in New Hampshire from the perspective of the caregiver. This phenomenological study used semi-structured interviews to explore the perspective of eight caregivers. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of the data resulted in six main themes: (a) Initiating wraparound services, (b) FAST Forward Coordinator (FFC) and Family Support Specialist (FSS), (c) Wraparound Team, (d) Supports and Services, (e) Family Engagement, and (f) Program Outcomes. Implications, limitations, and future research suggestions are explored