Who They Are and What They Do:
The members of the clinical department work collaboratively as part of a multi-disciplinary team that follows a biopsychosocial “evidence-based” approach to treatment and intervention. According to this model, interactions between a person’s biology (genetic make-up), mental health and environment contribute to the presenting problem(s). Operating across our three regions, the department offers the following services by a clinical team that is comprised of certified behaviour analysts, behaviour therapists, registered social worker and consulting psychiatrists and psychologists.
Services may include:
- Positive applied behavioural approaches
- Specialized assessments
- Intervention/treatment in mental health
- Residential treatment for complex cases
- Community-based intervention programs (IBI, ABA and an ASD Treatment Classroom)
- Supportive counseling (modified Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for persons with an intellectual disability)
- Conflict resolution (between families and the agency)
Role of Clinical Department:
The members of the clinical team are a resource to be accessed in the respective three regions. Cases for clinical consultation are received by referral. While a majority of persons supported residentially are on the clinical caseload, not all supported persons require support from the clinical department. Some persons may require short-term support for a specific concern or for skill building while others may require more intensive long-term consultation. This is typically the case for persons supported in our treatment sites and/or are part of one of our psychiatric clinics.
The most requested type of consultation from the department is behavioural support to assist the team with the management of challenging behaviour. Once “target” behaviour (a behaviour selected for change because it has negatively impacted the supported person or others), there can be more emphasis placed on learning/skill building strategies for communication and activities of daily living. Behaviour therapists routinely develop strategies and protocols as well as teaching front line staff how to implement communication tools and materials.
Additional clinical services offered by the department include environmental assessments (for new residential admissions and/or transitions to new environments), psychological assessments (to confirm diagnosis and to determine levels of cognitive functioning), support to psychiatric clinics (analyses of behavioural data, behavioural/psychological formulations and supportive counseling services (a new service).
The Clinical Department has also implemented the practice of developing “MOUs” (agreements between Kerry’s Place and families of persons admitted to residential and treatment programs. These agreements have been extremely helpful in clarifying the roles, responsibilities and expectations of both Kerry’s Place and the family. These agreements have been instrumental minimizing conflict due to unrealistic expectations.
Quality Outcomes Supports and Initiatives
Who They Are and What They Do:
As part of our clinical umbrella of services, the Quality Outcomes team analyzes trends and patterns that affect the quality of life of persons we support. The focus of Quality Outcomes is to identify those factors that minimize risk and maximize safety agency-wide through capacity building across the agency along with an equally important person-directed focus.
Quality Outcomes initiatives currently include:
- Facilitated Person Directed Planning
- Quality of Life Qualified Outcome Interviews
- Quality Outcomes Staff Education and Training
- Coordination of a Standards and Best Practices committee
Person directed planning is provided by a full-time Facilitator. At Kerry’s Place we believe that supported persons should get involved in planning for their futures and to express and achieve their dreams and goals to the greatest extent possible. The Person Directed Plan provides us with information about the supported person that includes their future dreams and supports needed to achieve these along with action plans. The supported person directs and owns the plan.
The Quality of Life outcomes interviews are completed by a small team of interviewers who have been trained to use Quality of Life Interview tool. Education and training in “quality” is provided throughout the year in each region by the Quality Outcomes team.
Standards and Best Practices Committee:
The Standards and Best Practices Committee is another area of focus for the department and operates with a dual function:
- To review Behaviour Support Plans developed for persons with challenging behaviour as an objective third party process and
- To review matters of due process and fair treatment for supported persons at Kerry’s Place
A Standards and Best Practices Committee reviews rights restrictions that fall outside the scope of the Behaviour Support Plan Review process. The committee’s mandate is the review applications/queries regarding restriction of rights to weigh risks, benefits and alternatives to interventions or practices that may be perceived as intrusive.
The committee shall provide recommendations in an advisory capacity as an organizational safeguard that helps to protect the legal rights and personal freedoms of supported persons at Kerry’s Place and may act as an impartial third party with respect to complaints/concerns related to supports and services and organizational processes. The committee is made up of participants that are internal and external to Kerry’s Place. Kerry’s Place supports self-advocacy for supported persons and as such, encourages individuals (and those persons acting on their behalf) to actively participate in meetings to discuss a perceived infringement of due process/fair treatment.