This past fall, SaintA welcomed a visitor from Scotland. Dan Anderson, Senior Forensic Psychologist of Kibble Education and Care Centre, spent two days with us. During our conversations, Dan and I realized Kibble and SaintA have a host of similarities: Kibble was founded in 1840 upon the death of philanthropist Elizabeth Kibble who left a portion of her estate to establish a home for at-risk youth. Kibble offers a variety of services, including emergency crisis response (comparable to child welfare services) and respite care, residential care, day and community services, and educational and vocational services to help young people with employment.
Dan received a traveling fellowship through the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust where he planned to visit several agencies throughout the US and UK in order to learn from the agencies and return with ideas that can be applied back at Kibble. A colleague of Dan’s attended the International NMT Symposium in Banff, Alberta this past June and heard my presentation on the use and implementation of Neurosequential Model of Therapy (NMT) and our trauma informed care practices.
Dan chose to visit SaintA because we are trauma informed agency and we utilize NMT. Dan’s agency has several therapists trained in Phase I of NMT with several going through the Phase II Train the Trainer program. Dan’s visit included conversations with Care Coordination, Treatment Foster Care, Family Services and Residential staff. These discussions allowed various staff members the ability to highlight all of the hard work, strengths and challenges that go into implementing NMT and creating a trauma-informed practice within the programs.
Dan was particularly interested in the work of Occupational Therapist Claudia Meyer and Residential Experiential Therapist Abbi Myers. Dan was especially impressed with the work that has been created in large part by our own Sara Daniel with the Trauma Sensitive Schools Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Module that is being rolled out for each of the 3 PBIS Tiers throughout our state.
We shared resources such as the interactive regulating websites gonoodle.com, thinkingmoves.com (Me Moves) along with bal-a-vis-x.com. Dan said Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube are a favorite of their youth.
Our visit ended with an important discussion about caregiver capacity, how we support caregivers and how Dan’s agency supports theirs. Kibble provides regular staff well-being days with Reiki, yoga and trainings on healthy lifestyle choices. Staff are trained on secondary trauma and offered support for more critical, primary incidents. Senior managers have become more accessible for their staff and host regular meetings with direct care staff as well.
During our time together, I felt proud that we have so much good work in TIC and NMT to share with colleagues near and far. Hearing Dan’s successes and challenges also validated the challenges that social service agencies like ours face worldwide. It’s easy to lose sight of the day to day progress being made, however, I think Dan’s visit served as a reminder of all the nice work we do and it reenergized me to keep striving toward excellence.
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