How easy it is to let things just slip by. “Out of sight, out of mind” seems to be human nature, but if we want to optimize our chances of success, we have to keep our goals in view and measure our progress along the way. Believing something is important or meaningful can keep us actively engaged, but even then it can be a challenge to stay focused on what we hope to achieve.
I have been involved with quality advancement activities at Grafton for 20 years. Now more than ever, I see leadership’s desire not just to follow best practice but to innovate and define best practices ourselves. I have been through many (many, many) regulatory inspections and accreditation surveys. While some of those experiences may have helped us shape our understanding about a matter, quite honestly just as often the experiences focused on areas that were not truly related to quality of our services.
Exploring how we support others who have had traumatic experiences is critical in promoting resiliency and recovery. The simple shift from asking “What is wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”can have significant benefits in promoting a trauma-informed treatment milieu.
The following six principles of Grafton’s trauma-informed care model were presented at a recent poster session of the 57th annual American Association of Children’s Residential Centers (AACRC) conference:
Jamie Stewart, in a previous blog post, highlighted how children with different disabilities are treated within our local behavioral health and education systems. This post in turn propelled me to reflect on the progress that we have made as educators in supporting children with disabilities.
I admit it. I gave my seven year old an iPod Touch for Christmas. Although this has resulted in a precipitous increase in dreaded “screen time,” there have been other impacts as well. Last night for example, she showed me an app she was playing with, which seemed to involve some complicated rubric for efficiently operating a small farm. It was bright and engaging, with cute little cows, and tiny helpful farmhands. I briefly attempted to take over the management, and, much to her horror, productivity dropped immediately – the Dustbowl had begun. I simply couldn’t acquire the rules and cause/effect relationships as quickly as she could. Her ability to learn, mediated only by the software, is unbelievable.
I was thinking about my daughter’s experience recently, when Grafton invited representatives of Jason Learning, a nonprofit organization that connects students to real science and exploration, and UrbanTech, a nonprofit educational group, to a full-day symposium.
Children with differing disabilities are being treated differently in Virginia’s Behavioral Health and Education system when it comes to residential placements in Psychiatric Residential Facilities.
When was the last time you looked at your watch and sped up what you were doing to hurry to another activity? Wouldn’t it be great if you soon realized you have a few extra minutes before a meeting and can run to get coffee! Do you check your bank statements to know how much money you have (or, more likely, how much you can squeeze out for that frivolous purchase!)? Have you been successful losing weight by counting calories and minutes of exercise? We all have experiences like this each day, but we don’t realize we are using data to drive our decision-making. In fact, any time we use information to guide our next steps, we are using data.
A drum circle is a group of people in a circle experiencing the spontaneous creation of music with a variety of drums and percussion instruments. Drum circles have no beginning, no end, no top, or bottom. The format really places each participant on equal footing, an important component within the therapeutic milieu. Drum circles are usually led by a facilitator who encourages creative participation from those in the circle. The entire process, however, is spontaneous and improvisatory. Each drum circle experience is unique.
When I think about the work Grafton has done over the last decade, two numbers (98 and 12 million), come to mind. Grafton has achieved a remarkable 98% reduction in the use of physical restraints and a total return of more than $12,236,934 through savings in employee lost-time, workers’ compensation costs and employee turnover.
When we talk about how we achieved these outcomes, a key phrase is “Comfort versus Control. It refers to a philosophical and paradigm shift that took place at Grafton and continues to shape and guide our treatment philosophy today.