The course introduction sets the stage for the rest of the curriculum. Trainees are told about the course and its goals, as well as ground rules and the context in which the course is designed to be taught. Then it describes what challenging behavior is, how to assess its severity, and how to understand relevant diagnoses and conditions that might contribute. Then the course addresses relevant factors such as history and environment. We begin to address the effects of reinforcement, including an Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence (ABC) model of behavior and ways in which staff might inadvertently reinforce challenging behavior.
It's far better to prevent behavioral incidents than to manage them. That's why Safety-Care gives participants the tools they need to plan and take action well ahead of any escalation. Participants in the course learn a wide variety of prevention skills so that they can each contribute to a physical and social environment that encourages behavior patterns that are positive and safe. These include non-invasive approach and interaction strategies, ways to create a safe and therapeutic environment, self-management skills, and the use of differential reinforcement to teach desirable replacement behaviors.
The best time to begin responding to an impending incident is right now. Participants learn how to identify each person's triggers and signals and how to respond to them safely and therapeutically. De-escalation is a core skill in Safety-Care. Participants learn and practice the use of three intervention strategies for re-direction of an agitated person, regardless of whether that person can communicate effectively with staff. In doing so, staff learn how important it is to reinforce safe, desirable behavior without reinforcing agitated or dangerous behavior.
In the event that a behavioral incident does occur, participants learn how to stay safe without over- or under-reacting. Instead of coercive or aggressive interventions, staff learn how to safely separate themselves from an agitated person while continuing de-escalation interventions. In more extreme circumstances, intrusive safey management procedures may be necessary. Participants learn about the risks of these interventions, when such procedures should be used (and avoided), and how to intervene safely in a manner that minimize risks to the greatest degree possible. Physical management procedure taught in the course include 1- and 2-person stability holds, escort procedures, and a chair stability hold. These interventions can be scaled to working with children, adolescents, or adults.
The occurrence of a behavioral incident begins the task of preventing the next one. Participants learn to involve the agitated person (when appropriate) and involved stakeholders in assessing what happened and developing plans to prevent future incidents.