At CVS we are dedicated to providing quality service and we believe that our staff need to have training in more than one approach. People are different and so are their disability related needs.
At CVS we start with Person-Centered Planning that is a planning process that emerged in the 1970s where the central theme is inclusion. It is focused on the person with a disability, rather than on the needs of a program or service. Person-centered planning is infused within Positive Behavior Supports, within customized employment approaches and is important in fostering relationships in the community. Person-centered planning is guided by values that require a person with an intellectual disability to be involved in the planning process, to be given choices, and to be encouraged toward self-determination. The focus is on a person’s strengths and gifts, rather than on his or her deficits. Person-centered planning should give rise to five essential outcomes. The first is being a part of the community, having quality relationships, having choices and preferences honoured, living with dignity, fulfilling respected roles, and continuing to develop personal competencies.
In addition to person Centered-planning our CVS approaches to serving people has evolved into the use of:
1) Positive Behaviour Supports
2) Augmentative Communication
3) The Mandt System
4) Gentle Teaching
5) Trauma Informed Practice
We have learned and folded these elements into our approach to create an integrated and flexible system to serving people with developmental disabilities and their families.
We have partnered with CBI Consultants and Community Living BC (CLBC) to help our staff understand and implement the concepts related to Positive Behaviour Supports (PBS), such as person-centred planning, self-determination, augmentative communication, and determine the reason behind problem behaviour and then design an appropriate and sustainable intervention.
CVS has also dedicated resources for Augmentative Communication to create a better quality of life for the people who have communication challenges. We are proud to say that everyone who needs either low tech communication supports (picture symbols) or a communication device has received one. Our set of staff picture symbols are up to date and if a person we serve needs picture symbols they are done as soon as possible.
To help keep the people we serve and the staff that serve them safe, we subscribe to the the Mandt System that is aligned with PBS and teaches relational and technical skills to staff. While PBS and Mandt tells us what to do when working with people, Gentle Teaching guides us in how to be with people in terms of tone of voice, gentleness of touch, gaze, and demeanour.
Our work with children means that sometimes we are working for young ones who have suffered trauma or abuse. As a result, we have also been using a Trauma Informed Approach. Many people (perhaps 80%) with developmental disabilities have experienced trauma. When trauma happens it has a profound impact on the child/adult. Trauma can profoundly impact the growth of the brain and create deficits in neurological and biological maturity, an over-reactive stress response, difficulties with emotional regulation, and attachment style. CVS has been learning from Complex Trauma Resources headed up by Dr. Chuck Geddes to ensure that our staff teams get the best training and advice.
Mindfulness is becoming part of the routine at CVS. Mindfulness can help calm an overactive stress response, help people self regulate and make better decisions. As an organization, we are starting to work together on becoming more mindful at the leadership team and we are intending to infuse it throughout the organization to include our staff and the people we serve. Our goal is to be a Mindful Organization and we have been learning with the Dalai Lama Centre.