Advocates Inc. believes that its staff is its most valuable resource. We are committed to supporting each and every staff member in achieving their full potential and enhancing their contribution to our agency and those to whom we provide services. Staff are encouraged to attend trainings and have the flexibility to further their educational background in order to advance in their careers. In addition to the mandatory core trainings, Advocates offers trainings on a myriad of topics.
Pre-Employment Orientation and Training Program
Advocates offers a comprehensive Pre-Employment Orientation and Training Program which all newly hired staff complete before their first day of work in the programs. This program provides new staff with an orientation to the company and the services it offers, trainings in Sexual Harassment, Professionalism and Ethics, Human Rights introduction, Human Diversity workshop, and core certificates such as CPR, First Aid, SOLVE, and MAP.
Human Diversity Workshops
This training is designed to enhance the trainee's awareness of his/her own cultural rules and predispositions and how these cultural differences come into play in common interactions with others. This awareness is used to develop the trainees' understanding of issues related to human diversity. The workshop also teaches basic skills and knowledge related to interacting with diverse groups.
Deaf Services Trainings
Advocates provides services to individuals who are Deaf or experience hardness of hearing and employs many staff who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Trainings are offered in American Sign Language and conducted by Deaf trainers. Interpreters can also be made available at any other trainings, as requested. American Sign Language classes are offered to groups of staff to improve communication throughout the organization. Deaf Culture trainings are presented on-site, in an effort to help staff better understand their colleagues the people we serve. Advocates also maintains a Deaf Services Task Force put in place to ensure training is accessible to all.
Documentation and Paperwork TrainingsAdvocates staff in all divisions are trained extensively in how to properly complete required paperwork and documentation. Documentation trainings include:
• Clinical Note Taking: Provides staff with information on how to document at the end of each shift what has occurred per individual
• Individualized Service Plan (ISP): An overview of ISPs that includes information about setting up goals, data collection, progress notes, and assessments.
• Program Specific Treatment Plans and Reviews (PTSPs)
Specialized Program Specific Trainings
• Van Safety
• Traumatic Brain Injury
• Adult Foster Care (AFC) I & II
• Shared Living
• Lifting and Transfer
• Prader-Willi Syndrome
Person-Centered PlanningPerson-Centered Planning is a process of listening and learning from individuals with Developmental Disabilities about their lives and the goals and dreams they would like to achieve. Like all of us, individuals in Advocates programs have life goals and dreams they wish to accomplish, or they may desire change in their living environments, daily activities, or who they spend time with. Person-Centered Planning is a process that facilitates a plan for accomplishment of the individuals' dreams and goals.
Intentional Care StandardsIntentional Care Standards are performance-based guidelines for making decisions in difficult times and ambiguous situations. There are eight sections to Intentional Care, as follows: 1. Role of the Direct Service Worker, 2. Client Choice, 3. Professional Boundaries, 4. Confidentiality, 5. Cleaning: Group Homes, 6. Cleaning: Supported Housing, 7. Community Integration, 8. Respectful Communications. These standards were developed by Advocates, Inc and Patricia E. Deegan, Ph.D.
Wednesday Trainings"Wednesday Trainings" is the name of a group of ever-changing trainings offered on a weekly basis. The topics and presenters change to give staff a variety of learning opportunities. Past training titles have included: Spirituality: Why is it so Hard to Talk About?; Navigating Social Security and Other Benefits; Program Specific Treatment Plans; Transformation of the Mental Health System; and Employee Relations for Supervisors.
Strategies of Limiting Violent Episodes (SOLVE)SOLVE is a 20-hour training program that teaches staff to prevent or control aggression safely. SOLVE's focus is on prevention, however, the program does include training on physical intervention skills, should that step need to be taken. Classes are offered bi-monthly and recertification classes are held monthly.
CPR, First Aid, and MAPCPR and First Aid classes are offered to all staff. Advocates, Inc. is a Red Cross Authorized training provider. Certified instructors teach the basics of First Aid and CPR, including topics such as: recognizing emergencies; getting consent to give care; preventing disease transmission; care for cuts, bruises, burns; care for muscle, joint, and bone injuries; care for sudden illnesses; breathing and cardiac emergencies; and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. Full classes, re-certifications, and challenges are also offered several times a month. Classes are also offered in ASL. Advocates offers on-site Medication Administration Program certification and re-certification classes to staff. These classes are offered in ASL as well.
Supervisory Development Training SeriesThis series is mandatory for staff that have supervisory responsibilities. The series is designed to enhance their leadership skills and prepare them for advancement as leaders in the agency. The series includes the following courses: Role of the Leader; Time Management; Motivating through Recognition and Building a Team; Conflict Management; Behavioral Interviewing; Performance Coaching.
Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP)WRAP is a model created by Mary Ellen Copeland of the Copeland Center and is a self-designed plan for staying well and feeling better when you are not feeling well to increase personal responsibility and improving your quality of life. The WRAP approach empowers you to take control of your own health and wellness.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Study GroupThe goals of the DBT Study Groups are to continue to build capacity in the DBT program by preparing clinicians to offer DBT, and to expand knowledge of DBT throughout our residential and supported housing programs. Upon completion of the study groups, participants will pick up an individual DBT client for weekly therapy or run a weekly DBT skills group.
Behavioral Health Division TrainingsThe Behavioral Health Division's In-Service Training Program offers staff a number of training modalities, including monthly internal trainings, collaboration with Wayside, case consultations with a multidisciplinary team and outside training opportunities. All clinical staff are scheduled to attend one of these options at least once a month. Titles have included:
• Internal Trainings: Psychiatry and Addiction; Culturally Competent Treatment; Use of Expressive Therapy in Treatment.
• Case Conferences offered in the areas of: Child and Family Cases; Adolescent and Adult Cases; Substance Abuse; Forensic Issues; Personality Disorders; Eating Disorders; Difficult to Engage/High Risk Clients
• Outside Trainings/Conferences: Suicide Prevention Across the Lifespan; Partnering for Recovery Conference for Human Service Staff; World Congress on Stress, Trauma, and Coping
ConferencesAdvocates not only encourages staff to attend workshops and conferences to enhance their professional skills but also sponsors, co-sponsors and sends speakers to regional, national and international conferences.
| Advocates Inc., One Clarks Hill, Suite 305, Framingham, MA 01702
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Did you know…?
- Advocates has over 1000 employees.
- We have 137 locations in 31 cities and towns across the state.
- Our outpatient, emergency, and community justice programs serve over 12,000 individuals each year.
- Advocates is the largest provider in New England for adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome and the 4th largest in the country.
- We are the largest provider in the state for Deaf adults with disabilities.
- Advocates Framingham Jail Diversion Program has received several recognition awards and is the model replicated by the state.
- Our staff and programs have been acknowledged in recent years for excellence more than 15 times by funders, trade organizations and community groups