Culture of Positive Approaches

Developmental centers/community facility (DCs/CF) have specific guidelines and regulations associated with the use of restraints (physical, psychotropic, manual) for those persons where less restrictive measures have proven unsuccessful and where imminent risk of harm exists. A number of efforts over the years have achieved the elimination or reduction of restraint use for some individuals served by DCs/CF.

To build on a positive culture for supporting people with challenging behaviors and achieving desired outcomes, DC/CF staff receive Person-Centered Training and Non-Violent Crisis Management Training. These competency based, hands-on trainings focus on non-violent behavioral/crisis emergency techniques.

The training will assist staff in providing services and supports for individuals who present exceptionally challenging behaviors with comorbid psychiatric and medical conditions. The training will:

  • Expand on client and staff safety education;
  • Expand on preventative techniques and proactive strategies;
  • Focus on program evaluation;
  • Provide risk management and mitigation techniques;
  • Support current DC/CF policy, data analysis and link to the existing quality assurance systems.

The Positive Approaches initiative will be phased in, beginning with identifying the restraint reduction effort as the first step in re-defining the culture. The development of a phased-in plan with specific activities and timelines and examples of other strategies under consideration include:

  • Department issued policy for all DCs/CF;
  • Department identified restraint and medication reduction goals for each DC/CF;
  • Department required annual restraint reduction plan for each DC/CF consistent with Headquarters goals and desired outcomes, including internal staff training, increased scrutiny and administrative oversight;
  • Department sponsored newsletters, workshops and other supportive strategies.

The Department has contracted with a well-established provider to train staff at each DC/CF to incorporate a nationally recognized trauma-informed treatment model into crisis intervention and positive support systems. The training provides employees with skills and tools to protect themselves and, equally important, the clients they support. Training and consultation services are underway at each DC/CF.


Last modified: April 9, 2019