Hundreds from across U.S., Canada, three African nations convene to learn advances in Wraparound model that promotes positive youth development and family strengthening

MELBOURNE, Fla. – March 25, 2014 – Brevard Family Partnership, Brevard County, Florida’s lead agency for child welfare and a leader in the field of programs and services designed to keep children free from abuse and families out of crisis, along with its newly formed family and community change organization, The National Center for Innovation and Excellence, recently hosted its second National Wraparound Conference: Waves of Change in Wraparound and Systems of Care at the Cocoa Beach Hilton Oceanfront Hotel, in Cocoa Beach, Fla. Over 300 social service professionals, along with youth and family development experts from 32 U.S. states, two provinces in Canada and three African nations attended the conference to learn more about the unique model of Wraparound that protects children from abuse and neglect, and promotes stable, healthy and safe families, and thriving communities.

Presented by title sponsor, the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, the conference featured experts presenting workshops and plenaries on topics that covered best practice areas including: youth and family engagement; trauma-informed care and positive youth development; serving multi-system involved youth and families; and wraparound through the life courses.

Keynote speakers included Dr. John VanDenBerg, a pioneer in the field of wraparound; Mary Jo Meyers, deputy director of Wraparound Milwaukee; and John Franz, owner of Paper Boat Consulting, whose address highlighted scenes from the Disney film “Finding Nemo” to illustrate the importance of  building effective child and family teams. The conference concluded with discussion by an expert panel on future trends in Wraparound.

“This was an incredible opportunity to gather together, learn new and emerging best practices in the field of wraparound and recognize leaders who are making a difference in their communities,” said NCIE chief advancement officer and senior research scientist, Dr. Andrew Schneider-Muñoz. “We were honored that so many chose to spend this time with us and we trust they’ll take back new and innovative programs and processes to improve their local systems of care.”

During the three-day event, the NCIE also hosted its inaugural Global and National Innovations Awards luncheon, recognizing significant accomplishments and contributions in the field of wraparound. The Global Innovation Award was presented to Merle Allsop and Michael Shabalala of the National Association of Child Care Workers in South Africa for their work in providing wraparound services to children who have lost parents due to the AIDS epidemic or other illnesses or tragedies in their country. Eric Bruns, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and co-director of the National Wraparound Initiative based in Portland, Oregon received the National Innovations Award for his development of innovative, community-based models for helping youth and families with complex needs utilizing the wraparound model and processes.

For more information about The National Center for Innovation and Excellence, and to view workshop presentations and photos of the National Wraparound Conference, please visit
About Brevard Family Partnership
Established in 2004 by a Legislative mandate to privatize foster care and related services in Florida (Section 409.1617, Florida Statutes), Brevard Family Partnership is Brevard County’s lead child welfare agency. Working in partnership with over 70 community organizations, its mission is to protect children, strengthen families and change lives through the prevention of child abuse and the operation and management of a comprehensive, integrated, community-based system of care for abused, abandoned and neglected children, and their families.

About The National Center for Innovation and Excellence
Established in 2013, The National Center for Innovation and Excellence is a dynamic community dedicated to developing youth, changing communities, growing economies, and improving the lives of others by working with organizations, foundations, governments, and communities to design, implement, and test outcomes for large scale youth development strategies and community change initiatives. The NCIE is led by international child and family development expert, Dr. Andrew Schneider-Muñoz, a Harvard trained psychologist and anthropologist, and supported by a group of Center Fellows from across the U.S. who are equally credentialed in their specialties. The NCIE is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brevard Family Partnership.