Reduction in Workplace Violence

In 2008, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Joint Commission, independent of each other, released new standards requiring administrators to provide leadership in addressing issues of workplace violence. Workplace violence is a growing threat for all employees in human services, as evidenced by data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing that workplace violence was reduced in all sectors of the U.S. except for health care occupations.  (Janocha & Smith, 2010)

The Mandt System has provided the framework for staff training and development,  to increase workplace safety throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia, in all human service sectors.  Our unique combination of relationally based training, trauma informed services, neuro-sensory integration, and positive behaviour support provide orgazations with the most comprehensive programme to do more than crisis intervention and anger management.

Hospitals, group homes, Public as well as specialized schools, mental health centres, residential treatment centres, and juvenile correction centres which use The Mandt System have all reported significant decreases in injury rates for staff and individuals served. However, workplace violence encompasses far more than just aggression by individuals seved.  The “relational violence” between staff in human service organizations is estimated to cost organizations in the US more than $1.4 billion per year.  (Tunajek, 2007)  The focus of The Mandt System is not just on aggression by service users; it focuses primarily on the aggression between service providers.

As a result, organizations have been able to increase the morale of staff, decrease turnover of staff, and empower staff to be more effective in their teamwork, as teamwork is nothing more than “Relationships in Action.” (The Mandt System, 2010)

Schools in Texas that use The Mandt System®, had a restraint rate that was 84% lower than the statewide average for schools. Not only did that save money for the schools, but the National Technical Assistance Centre for the Education of Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent or at Risk has demonstrated that decreases in restraint use and behavioural referrals increases instructional time for students and decreases administrative time needed to deal with the aftermath of restraint

Examples:

Feeling Safe is a pre-requisite to learning.  As The Mandt System® looks to support school personnel in creating cultures that promote safety, we understand the process involves more than just physical security -it includes relational, emotional, and psychosocial facets as well.

The Mandt System® was developed on the premise that people learn best when they feel safe, and that the key to successful programme implementation is in the relationships formed and maintained in the classroom.  We practiced positive behaviour support before we knew it had a name, and have continued to develop innovative procedures to reduce the potential for violence in all human service settings, including education.  Our organization is committed to partnering with school personnel in creating cultures and educational communities that promote safety, and who want to utilize a comprehensive PBIS training programme to do more than anger management or crisis prevention. The focus is on reducing, if not eliminating, workplace and school violence by learning how to “support people, not just their behaviours”™. According to Brendtro and Long (1995), healthy human relationships, where individuals feel a strong sense of connection, are the most effective means to reduce violent behaviour. Affirming the importance positive relationships play in violence reduction, Kauffman (2005), added an intervention component and stated the best way to prevent antisocial behaviour is proactive academic and social skills instructional planning to avoid coercion, power-based struggles, and failure. The Mandt System® trainings help educational organizations realize these goals by first building healthy relationships between and among all the stakeholders within the culture.

Schools are now required to provide more services with dwindling resources. Budget reductions, teacher shortages, and increasing populations of students identified as having a disability that require costly intervention and support services are straining already overburdened systems.  Compounding those issues, several significant investigatory studies released since January, 2009 document alarming rates and unacceptable practices of restraint and seclusion abuse in our nation’s schools. Children who were most often victimized were those with disabilities and students exhibiting troubled behaviour (USGAO, 2009). In response, and to support schools in restoring balance and safe learning/work environments, the Mandt System® developed and provides research-based and proven effective PBIS training programmes for educational administration, teachers, and other school personnel.

The Mandt System®, a positive approach, is based on supporting people not just their behaviours.  Unfortunately, many educational classroom policies and procedures employ punitive or coercive practices. Zero-tolerance initiatives and compliant or coercive management methods dehumanize children, threaten our sense of safety, and incite rebellion and retributive behaviour (Brendtro, 2008). We know safety is conveyed through respectful school policies and classroom management practices. Building positive and respectful relationships, staff-to-staff and staff-to-student, forms the foundation for creating safe and inviting school cultures.

As a result of using our programme, over 500 school districts have been able to:

  • Reduce the use of restraint
  • Reduce the number of behavioural referrals
  • Increase time spent in the classroom
  • Increase instructional time
  • Facilitate a more positive, engaging and collaborative educational experience for all students.

“I appreciate the curriculum realignment, new information and instructional resources that the Mandt System is providing.”

Doug VonEhrenkrook 
Sedgwick County Area Educational Services 
620 Industrial Road 
PO Box 760 
Goddard KS  67052

 

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