Quality community supports are essential to WWRC's Value Chain in helping

clients demonstrate the ability to appropriately interact with others, which is critical to

VOCATIONAL SUCCESS.
 

Understanding the Unique Nature of the Comprehensive Center

It is important for every Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC) staff member to understand the value of the comprehensive center and the community/residential environment that is essential to the success of clients enrolled in vocational rehabilitation (VR).  WWRC is not just a medical center or vocational school with dorms and a recreation center.  It is a highly integrated set of comprehensive services that spans twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure that clients receive an array of services to promote independence, self-sufficiency and employment skills. Many of the Center's clients have never been away from home or have experienced differential treatment because of their disabilities. 

 

The Center offers a  highly unique "living and learning environment" essential for person with a disabilities to become aware of, develop and demonstrate independence in a semi-supervised community with access to rehabilitation staff that support clients goals, therapy and vocational  instruction.  During the rehabilitative process on campus, people with disabilities find supportive peers, identify with a community of like minded "rehabilitants" and experience a bridge to personal autonomy and independence that forms the basis for workplace readiness and employment success.  Throughout the living and learning environment, both paraprofessional and professional staff serve as members of the rehabilitation team designed to help facilitate rehabilitation goals being pursued by clients. WWRC's residential experience facilitates a powerful context in which people with disabilities not only gain independence, but train for a job in one of WWRC's workforce driven programs.

 

WWRC Community Support Services

WWRC is not a behavioral treatment center.  However, it does have in place a variety of services to assist with clients in developing pro-social behaviors that are consistent with effective participation in typical societal, community and employment settings.  To be admitted to WWRC and retain enrollment, Center clients must not present a danger to themselves or others.  Clients who require supportive training, socialization, intervention and training to improve their behavior in the classroom and in the community have access to a continuum of services at WWRC.  It is reasonable to expect some clients to present social behaviors that require remediation as part of the rehabilitation experience. Family members and funding sources expect the rehabilitation center to provide a safe campus where behavioral standards are monitored and exceptions are addressed. The rehabilitation center believes that proactive behavioral education and intervention are the best course for providing a safe and stable living and learning environment.

 

Key Goals of the WWRC Community Support Services Program

  • Annually review minimal behavioral standards with which clients must comply to maintain enrollment at the rehabilitation center and make recommendations for WWRC Executive Team approval.   Orient clients and their families to these standards through the application and admissions process.
  • Annually recommend relevant training content as well as staff skill levels related to behavioral observation and reporting for WWRC Executive Team review and approval.
  • Annually recommend Employee Work Profile (EWP) responsibility for monitoring, reporting and or providing behavioral intervention for WWRC Executive Team endorsement and Center-wide implementation.
  • Annually recommend education and training that promotes pro-social behavior and independence.
  • Annually assess and document competency levels of WWRC's workforce to monitor behavior against published standards and report and/or intervene with socially unacceptable behaviors.
  • Monitor business processes that enable effective structured counseling and/or intervention for clients displaying chronic minor behavioral problems.
  • Monitor "interface strategies and processes" that ensure there is an effective continuum between staff who provide behavioral interventions with the police who are required to respond to violent or dangerous behavior.
  • Monitor macro-level business processes that ensure the removal of clients who become a danger to self of others and the effectiveness of "discharge dispositions."

Central to WWRC's approach as a comprehensive center is the "Rehabilitation Team and Process," which is generally described as a planning system that identifies a vocational objective through evaluation and assessment and subsequently establishes a plan with various services to help clients reach a defined rehabilitation goal.  There are typically multiple services required to support a client's rehabilitation program, which are coordinated by the Rehabilitation Counselor. The Rehabilitation Team's most important member is the client.  The Rehabilitation Team also consists of the various staff members who provide services to that individual client across the spectrum of the residential, medical and vocational training environments. The Rehabilitation Counselor leads this multi-disciplinary team to generate a synergistic environment in which everyone is working to ensure the client successfully reaches pre-determined rehabilitation goals.  If behavioral issues emerge in this process, there are a variety of center resources and business processes to assist clients. 

 

Behavioral expectations are established on campus and are subject to approval from the WWRC Director.  These behavioral standards are in place to ensure the environment is stable and supportive of the Center's mission and the community of all who live, train, work or visit on the center campus.   The campus-wide behavioral expectations are published in the client handbook and in some instances area-specific rules are posted in strategic locations like the dormitory. 

These rules and expectations were developed by students and modified over time to meet the unique needs of WWRC.  As behavioral issues that are inconsistent with campus expectations emerge in a client's program, they are systematically documented by designated staff.  Staff report behavioral observations using an approved form with objective, impartial and professional attention.  Staff are trained on least restrictive behavioral intervention techniques and all interventions are mandated to focus on safety and to the extent possible provide orientation, assistance and instruction, as opposed to a punitive response.  On a daily and ongoing basis, behavioral observation reports are reviewed and analyzed to identify patterns of behavior that require remediation. 

As identified, clients with patterns of behavior that are inconsistent with campus expectations will be referred to one of multiple service options designed to address and remediate problem behaviors. Clients who choose not to participate in a behavioral service once referred, will be referred to the rehabilitation team for consideration of feasibility for WWRC.  Demonstrating behaviors that are consistent with campus and employment behavioral expectations is essential to successful completion of rehabilitation goals. 

WWRC constantly assesses the aggregate behavioral patterns and trends on campus and formulates sufficient interventions both on an individual and group basis to allow clients the option for behavioral remediation/improvement.  These options span seven (7) days a week, in varying intensity depending on need, and offer socialization improvement group therapy sessions and individual sessions to support client behavioral needs.   WWRC offers the full continuum of its available services to assist clients before their feasibility is considered, unless a serious behavioral incident jeopardizes the client's or others' safety.  In these instances, cases will undergo an administrative review to determine if services can be provided that ensure the safe continuation of participation in campus life and programming.  Prior to an administrative review of a serious behavioral incident, clients may be asked to leave campus for a brief period of time to allow for decision-making and the involvement of the sponsor's participation and input.

Following the administrative review, clients who are determined safe for the environment may be referred to the behavioral coordinator and/or the Rehabilitation Team for development of specific programming to support their client's success.  In the event that illegal or dangerous behavior is demonstrated, Campus Police will provide for the safety of clients and the enforcement of law.

 

Role of the Rehabilitation Counselor

Central to the entire rehabilitation process is the rehabilitation team which is headed by the WWRC Rehabilitation Counselor.  The Rehabilitation Counselor is responsible for communications with the client and is the guardian of the rehabilitation process and outcome. Rehabilitation Counselors in the Division of Rehabilitative Service (DRS) concentrate their efforts in the counseling relationship on a plan that leads to a job that is available in the community where the client intends to reside. While consumer choice and interest are an integral part of any successful vocational plan, the Field DRS Counselor plays a vital role in balancing the multiple dimensions that make up that plan.  This role is frequently to help clients balance their interests and desires against their aptitudes and the local job market.  WWRC's Rehabilitation Counselors must also maintain this focus which provides the backdrop for the consideration of all rehabilitation plans, including behavioral aspects of any case. 

 

The Rehabilitation Counselor maintains contact with the family, service providers and the sponsor as appropriate.  The Rehabilitation Counselor has a unique relationship with the WWRC Behavioral Coordinator and looks to them for alerts on clients who have behavioral issues, the kinds of strategies that are being employed to remediate these issues and recommendations for team meetings, as needed.  The Rehabilitation Counselor is responsible for pulling the team together when behavioral issues exceed the tolerance levels of the environment and all available strategies have been exhausted in attempts to support the clients in modifying their behavior. The sponsor's input for joint problem solving to identify additional strategies for success is preferable to the extent possible prior to consideration of feasibility.  In some cases, clients will be discharged due to behavioral issues preventing their employability that cannot be remediated through the application of typical therapeutic intervention strategies and schedules.

 

Role of the Behavioral Coordinator

The Behavioral Coordinator is responsible for the overall operation of WWRC behavioral programs including staff supervision, case assignments, performance tracking and the menu of service offerings to address behavioral issues on campus.  The position reviews the behavioral stability of WWRC's environment on an aggregate level and assesses trends and develops programming that is designed to enhance stability of the environment. The position reviews all behavioral reports and makes determinations of severity and the need for referral to behavioral therapists.  The Behavioral Coordinator operates as a key liaison and facilitates effective communications, consultation and problem solving between the behavioral specialists, Psychological Services, Rehabilitation Counseling, and across all service divisions.  The Behavioral Coordinator generates a routine report detailing clients served and the success of behavior intervention plans with clients. 

 

The Behavioral Coordinator works to advise the Residential Services Administrator on the maintenance of Behavioral Intervention and carries out training across multiple divisions to ensure that staff  members have the latest knowledge, skill and ability to implement behavioral techniques and strategies. At the heart of the Behavioral Coordinator is the creation and maintenance of a schedule of proactive socialization and behavioral services that respond to the current trends and needs of the WWRC population.

 

Role of the Behavior Specialist Team

The Behavior Specialist Team provides group and individual sessions to assist clients in achieving the highest level of success as related to behavioral functioning in the campus environment.  This takes the form of a continuum of services that are proactive and geared to teaching and training as well as individual and group sessions to address chronic minor behavioral issues.  The Behavior Specialist Team uses multiple strategies and techniques to affect positive change and receives consultation from the Psychological Services Unit and Rehabilitation Counselors, as needed.  Behavior Specialists are available to consult with staff across all WWRC Divisions.

 

Role of Psychological Services

WWRC’s Psychological Services provides psychological assessment and intervention services.  Psychological Services’ role is specific to clinical interventions in direct psychotherapy, neuropsychological assessment and consultation.   In general, services occur confidentially in one on one or group sessions dealing with psychological and mental health issues.  WWRC’s Psychological Services provides ongoing consultation to the Behavioral Coordinator and Behavior Specialist, as needed, to support campus behavior programming.  WWRC’s Psychological Services has the lead role in assessing the stability of clients who are experiencing mental health emergencies such as suicidal ideation and attempt, aggressive behavior, and/or psychological de-compensation. Psychological Services also provides administrative consultation on the potential for the clients to safely remain at WWRC or the need for removal from campus. In addition, Psychological Services plays a critical role in the assessment of client psychological emergencies and provides 24 hour a day 7 day per week consultation.   This may occur remotely or on- site.  Psychological Services staff members are a critical element of the Rehabilitation Team and participate in meetings to provide consultation and problem-solving on behavioral issues and support innovation and excellence in the creation of strategies that can be employed to assist clients with unique challenges in the mental health and behavioral aspects of their program.

 

Role of the WWRC On-Call Administrator  

WWRC provides an On-Call Administrator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whereby someone with the authority and responsibility for emergency behavioral management is available via phone or in person, as needed.  The On-Call Administrator oversees and coordinates behavioral emergencies leading a team designated as necessary for the successful resolution of any behavioral or mental health emergency.  This typically involves a multi-stage sequence where an issue is identified and reported to the On-Call Administrator.  The On-Call Administrator assembles necessary resources, which includes the authority to assign mandatory overtime to individuals necessary for an effective emergency response.  Once the team has been identified and a rapid response plan is devised, the On-Call Administrator is responsible for monitoring, implementation and progress toward a successful resolution.  Typically this requires routine implementation of pre-existing procedures that are very familiar to well-trained and designated staff. 

 

The On-Call Administrator is responsible to ensure there is appropriate, thorough and properly disseminated communication and awareness during and after incidents.  The On-Call Administrator role is usually performed by the Director of Residential Services who lives on grounds in addition to assigned duties of overseeing campus residential operations.  The Deputy Director (as first back-up On-Call Administrator) and Center Director (as the second back-up On-Call Administrator) are responsible for this role in the event that the Residential Services Director is unavailable.  The On-Call Administrator typically conducts a debriefing to ensure that all relevant and necessary tasks are completed and to identify any opportunities for ongoing and continuous process improvements.

 

Role of the WWRC Police Department

WWRC's police officers are highly sensitized to the unique needs of people with disabilities and the Center's environment.   They are certified police officers and provide a layer of protection and necessary stability in WWRC's community, as needed.  WWRC police officers provide routine behavioral intervention like other WWRC staff.  Non-compliant behavior is documented and addressed by the rehabilitation team and if behavior which is out of compliance with campus behavioral expectations cannot be remediated, or a client's behavior exceeds the tolerance of the campus environment, the rehabilitation team can conclude the client's program.  Any behaviors that are a violation of law or present any kind of safety risk will be addressed by Campus Police using appropriate yet necessary techniques consistent with WWRC police procedures to ensure campus stability.  While this section of the Administrative Governance Manual addresses client behavior, it should be clearly noted that WWRC Police officers are fully sworn law officers and protect clients, staff, guests and property using the full spectrum of their police powers as needed to ensure safe and stable campus operations.

 

Role of Individual Staff Members

WWRC's campus operations are staffed by a diverse group of people in numerous roles and varying locations to fulfill the Center's mission.  All WWRC Staff members who observe unusual or dangers behavior should immediately contact their supervisor or Campus Police.  Any WWRC staff member who observes behavior that suggests the possibility of a mental health crisis should contact a member of Psychological Services, the On-Call Clinician, or Campus Police.

 

"Direct Service Staff," meaning those who work with clients such as instructors, counselors, therapists, residential/recreation, police and medical staff have responsibility for monitoring behavior and addressing routine matters of noncompliance and following established procedures for reporting behavioral noncompliance. Any person required to address campus behavioral noncompliance will have duties specifically outlined in their Employee Work Profile.

 

Staff members who do not provide direct services to students may directly intervene with non-compliant behavior, dependent on their comfort level, training, experience, or as indicated in their EWP.    Those staff members who do not directly intervene with non-compliant behavior are required to notify a direct service staff member of the non-compliant behavior.

 

WWRC provides housing to several Agency entities and partners who provide support to WWRC but are not part of its core program.  These entities (including the WWRC Business Office, Information Services, Human Resources, and Long-Term care) are only required to notify campus police if they see dangerous or unusual behavior and are not required to observe or intervene with routine campus behavioral infractions.