culture of gentleness training seminar

Beacon staff from the Sandhurst Crisis Residential Unit, Arlene, and Cascade homes had an opportunity to train and develop their skills at Beacon Specialized Living today as they learned about Gentle Teaching skills and how to effectively communicate with their residents. Gentle Teaching is a concept utilized in all Beacon homes in Michigan to foster a culture of gentleness and compassion, a core pillar of Beacon’s Mission.

“Working with people who have mental illnesses, physical disabilities, or trauma backgrounds is our job at Beacon”

“Working with people who have mental illnesses, physical disabilities, or trauma backgrounds is our job at Beacon,” says Evelyn Northrup, Beacon’s North Region trainer under the Learning & Development department. “We want to provide a culture that is positive and healthy so they can trust another human being, and they’re encouraged to be engaged in their own communities to not only receive love, but to love in return. Gentle teaching is showing staff how we provide safety and support to our clients so they can live their best lives the way it’s intended to be, not only for our clients, but for everyone at Beacon. The class is called working with people, not just people with disabilities.”

According to Gentle Teaching International, Gentle Teaching is a nonviolent approach for helping people with special needs and challenging behaviors by providing a personal teaching plan to improve quality of life.

The Working with People seminar consists of a two-day training block where staff learn techniques and language to help them interact with residents more effectively. This training serves to give employees more tools in their “toolkit” to pursue the ultimate goal of helping residents live their most independent lives.

Gentle Teaching is a tenant of Beacon’s mission of supporting residents’ self-directed goals with compassion and best practices, providing the highest level of support – not only meeting their needs, but helping people live their fullest lives.

Through challenges in recent months from the COVID-19 pandemic, Northrup said that Gentle Teaching training used to be done in person, in the homes, but they have been forced to find new, creative ways to effectively train staff.

“Since COVID restrictions have let up a bit, we are coming up with ways on how to get teaching out to staff and have it be just as good as it would be in person by conducting workshops, virtual trainings, and other similar things to remain in compliance”

“Since COVID restrictions have let up a bit, we are coming up with ways on how to get teaching out to staff and have it be just as good as it would be in person by conducting workshops, virtual trainings, and other similar things to remain in compliance” said Northrup.

Other upcoming training sessions include annual refresher training, virtual trainings of various topics, and one-day skills classes. If you are interested in participating, you can reach out to the Learning & Development department at Beacon.

Evelyn Northrup has been with Beacon Specialized Living for 15 years and is certified to train employees through the Center for Positive Living Supports.

If you’d like to learn more about training at Beacon and other services we offer, please reach out to Alexander Furman, Executive Director of Marketing, at alexander.furman@beaconspecialized.org.

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