Between Friends-Training for Nonviolent Crisis Intervention

The Cause

Between Friends envisions a community where people with disabilities reach their individual potential and are recognized as valued citizens. For the past 35 years, Between Friends (BF) has been providing inclusive programming to thousands of children, youth and adults with or without disabilities. However, the community need for inclusive programming is greater than our capacity to deliver. Through our work in the community, stakeholders and service providers alike have identified a gap in service and are eager to gain the knowledge and resources necessary to meet the growing need of their diverse clientele. Some of the biggest barriers to inclusive programming identified include physical accessibility, attitudinal barriers, knowledge and lack of resources. In response to this need Between Friends is capacity building to help address this gap. BF seeks to strengthen and develop partnerships with service providers like recreation providers, service clubs, sports clubs, preschools/day cares as well as educational institutions. We plan to provide custom training workshops to help agencies identify their own barriers to inclusion and establish a best practice approach that fits within their own programming. BF already has partnerships with more than 16 different summer recreation providers such as the City of Calgary and YMCA Calgary. By July 2017, we expect that number to increase to 27. BF provides a week of training to cover disability awareness, sensitivity training and behaviour management. We train Recreation Inclusion Facilitators (RIFs) in our own and other organizations to provide positive behaviour strategies when working with participants who may have challenges that create barriers for successful inclusion. Grant funds would go towards training one of our own staff members to be a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® Instructor through the Crisis Prevention Institute. The Crisis Prevention Institute was established to address the need for training in noninvasive methods for managing disruptive behaviour. Our staff will in turn train RIFs or other interested community partners. Having a trained CPI instructor on staff means we would no longer have to pay an external provider for that training; we would be able to offer this training at other times of year to our year-round program staff; and, we would be able to offer our community partners free training or other organizations training for a fee which would provide us with additional revenue.

Who Will it Benefit?

$4,000 will go towards certifying one of our full time staff members as a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® Instructor through the Crisis Prevention Institute. The cost ($3,630) includes 4 days of training and a DVD. The balance of the funds will go towards meals, travel and training materials. This training teaches preventative, proactive, positive approaches to anticipate and minimize difficult behaviours without the use of restraints and holds. This program is considered the global standard for crisis prevention and intervention training. The program's proven strategies give human service providers and educators the skills to safely respond to various levels of risk behaviour while balancing the responsibilities of care. This training puts recreation inclusion facilitators at ease, knowing they are well equipped for any circumstance. Once we have a staff member certified as an instructor, this helps us further increase capacity by then being able to offer others the training. The more RIFs we train and more organizations to which we can offer it, the more safe the recreation or service becomes both for the facilitator and the participants engaging in inclusive community programming. In previous years, Between Friends has hired an external facilitator to run this program and have had capacity to train only 120 individuals, which include office program staff, camp staff and a limited number of RIFs. In 2017, the demand from our partner camps to offer this training has increased from approximately 25 individuals to 50. We expect this to continue to grow in the coming years and need to increase capacity in which we can offer this certification. If Between Friends can offer this service to partner organizations on an ongoing basis, we will increase capacity and comfort for other agencies to accept individuals with disabilities.