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Outcomes for Crisis Management Efforts
March 9, 2010

On January 30, 2006 the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) issued a Special Transmittal entitled Strategies and Practices to Eliminate Unnecessary Use of Restraint. This document and the continuing work of the Alternatives to Coercive Techniques work group is representative of a four-year collaboration between providers, state agencies, and advocates. The focus has been to support the efforts by providers to expand skills and approaches for preventing and managing behavioral crises and introduce trauma informed approaches.

One element of these ongoing efforts has been the investment by DPW in testing the impact of one model for trauma informed care and crisis prevention, the Sanctuary Model. More than a score of residential programs (treatment, detention, and child welfare) have participated in the training and agency-wide implementation of this approach. Current impact data for this project is now available. Some highlights of the outcomes for this approach include:

  • Overall reduction in the use of physical restraints,
  • Reduction in the use of prone restraint,
  • Increases in discharge to less restrictive settings, and
  • Reduced discharges to more restrictive settings.

In addition to the introduction of the Sanctuary Model in residential programs, community providers have introduced this and several other approaches to trauma informed care, crisis reduction, risk management, and therapeutic environment models across the state. June will see the full implementation of the state ban on prone restraint in many service settings. The June 15 meeting of the Children’s Committee will focus on member efforts to improve the ability to implement trauma informed services and to prevent and manage behavioral crises.

Agencies or programs that have implemented a successful strategy or model in community-based or residential service are invited to share that experience with colleagues at the June meeting. Please contact Connell O’Brien to discuss this further.

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