How are you setting the tone?

You’ve carefully selected new staff members that you think will be a good fit for the job and your agency culture. They are excited and anxious to start. Too often, they walk in the first day and are plopped down in a painful training or worse, in front of videos or binders, and told to learn what they need to know.

The message is clear – training is something to be endured so you can get to the real work.

Here’s the problem: high fidelity wraparound is difficult to do at first, and very different from other kinds of behavioral health services. When your new staff don’t engage with the material, they will end up going out and doing… whatever they already know how to do. Case workers will do modified case management, therapists will conduct modified therapy, and juvenile justice workers… you get the picture. What none of these people will be doing is wraparound.

So what should happen on those first days? You need an orientation process that does a few key things:

  1. Gets everyone excited about wraparound and about the agency
  2. Makes it very clear that wraparound is different from services as usual, and that this is a good thing for families!
  3. Gives them a foundation for learning wraparound, introducing things like the Theory of Change, the principles, and the action steps, in a way that makes holistic sense.

In our textbooks, we start with a polarity exercise. Simply put, the exercise helps students come to the conclusion for themselves that wraparound offers hope to families that traditional approaches cannot. Then we spend some time reviewing the basics.

What do you do during orientation to help get your new staff excited and on board with wraparound?

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