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Ministry of Education.

Support Material

How the Intensive Wraparound Service Works (Ministry of Education website)

Intensive Wraparound Service

What is the Intensive Wraparound Service?

The Intensive Wraparound Service (IWS) facilitates tailored intensive interventions over a specific time for the small number of children and young people who have behaviour, social and/or learning needs that are highly complex and challenging (and may have associated intellectual difficulty) and require support at school, at home and in the community.

Children and young people who have received this kind of support have shown a marked increase in school attendance and classroom participation.  This increase has been particularly the case for Māori students.

The child, family, whānau, school and community-based support recognises that meeting the needs of these children can be complicated, and requires coordination and the commitment of everyone involved. Research and experience shows that, children and young people generally do better when they are supported to remain with their family, and within their local community.

In some cases, in order to develop the skills needed to be positively engaged in their local community, the wraparound plan may include attendance at a residential school, followed by transition back to their community.

What is involved?

Children and young people in school years 3-10 are referred to IWS by special education staff, following discussion with the child’s school and parents/caregivers.  Children and young people can be referred to IWS by:

  • Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLBs)
  • Ministry of Education, Special Education Lead Workers
  • Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) fund-holding schools (including day special schools).

Each referral is reviewed by a prioritisation panel. The role of the panel is to decide on the highest priority cases to receive IWS within the region’s allocation of IWS spaces. The panel makes decisions based on the level of complexity and challenge of the needs of the student across all contexts of home, school and community life, and the students’ past support requirements.

When a child starts with IWS their needs are assessed by a psychologist using an ecological wraparound approach.  The IWS psychologist develops an individualised plan in discussion with the child, their family/whānau, and the people who support them.  The plan details what everyone will do to help a child or young person succeed. It may include:

  • management strategies
  • additional resources in the classroom to provide learning support for the child
  • specialist support for the child, family and those people involved in supporting them
  • the development of specific strategies that parents, family and whānau and teachers can learn to support the child
  • support for the community involvement and sporting or cultural development
  • the student spending some time in a residential special school.

The IWS psychologist will set up a funding agreement with the school and funds will be allocated so that the school can purchase or employ the resource required to support the child as outlined in the plan. A three year plan is developed with psychologist support and funded up to two years.  The third year is funded and supported through local services and supports.

Who to contact

Contact Ministry of Education, Special Education phone 0800 622 222 or email special.education@education.govt.nz.

Further information is available on the Ministry of Education website.

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