Community Connections has five core values – two of which are excellence and continuous improvement, and professional integrity and respect.
Our staff receive ongoing training to help them improve in their work with clients and maintain respectful, positive relationships.
A recent training session focused on what is called The Mandt System. Its goal is to provide safety techniques for people who find themselves in a tense or threatening situation with a client who might have behavioral challenges.
There are two days to the training, including a classroom session and a more hands-on physical training.
Participants learn several techniques on how to build healthy relationships. The ultimate goal is to prevent an escalating situation in the first place – build a positive relationship with the client, so they can trust you in the midst of problems.
If a situation does escalate though, it helps to know how to diffuse the tension. Participants learn a number of techniques to de-escalate the situation, including verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and conflict resolution skills.
The last tool participants learn about is the physical component – hands-on skills for separating yourself from the situation by using techniques like release, redirection, and escape. Restraint only comes as a last resort, if the employee or client is in immediate danger – and even then employees try to end the restraint as soon as possible.
“If you’re doing your job right, you rarely get to the physical part,” says Glen Fazakerly, a residential coordinator at Community Connections. He is a certified Mandt instructor, and taught a recent session alongside Tyler McNeil, another residential coordinator.
This session is part of a larger initiative to train Community Connections supervisors as instructors, so that not every single employee needs to travel to a different city to receive training. The supervisors get trained and develop an area of expertise, and then come back and train their fellow employees.
Community Connections also sometimes invites other local organizations to participate in such trainings – for the most recent session, four people from Rendezvous Senior Day Services attended. In the next session, a few people from The Manor will be attending.
Participants get a certification in The Mandt System, which is valid for two years.