When new health or education projects are considered the first thought is often the desire to provide a ‘Centre of Excellence’. In concept this is admiral, but we have learnt from our experience in developing our therapy centre that the primary asset is the capacity of the staff. Without skilled and competent staff that are willing to continually improve on their abilities, we cannot provide a good service. No matter how big or good the building it is what is being done inside it that matters most.
Knowing this is the most important imperative we have a policy of continuous educational in-service training for all of our staff. We have bi-annual intensive clinical training from an experienced trainer from Ireland who works with our own clinical supervisor. In her course the therapists have the opportunity to see hands on practical work with our children and have personal guidance in their own work.
We have regular case discussions with all the team working together to problem solve for difficult cases.
We have monthly training days:
- To develop our protocols as we introduce new services to maintain consistency amongst the therapists.
- To discuss treatment principles and new options available to us.
- To discuss care of the child in context of normal development.
- To develop our services by extending our understanding of current best practise in therapy.
As we see education as being the basis of how we improve what we do, we also recognise that we must include the parents at all stages.
Our ethos is to work with families to guide them to help their children reach their full potential.
We see children for maybe 1 hour a week, at best. The parents have the child for all of the 168 hours in the week. What they learn from us is what can make all of the difference.
In practise this means every time a child is having therapy a carer from the family is present. He or she is being taught how to do the work at home, how to incorporate the techniques into everyday life. They see and are told the purpose of all the therapy given and how they can do it at home. Over time this helps develop a sense of trust between therapist and families. As new problems arise or when families want more help they are able to discuss issues and we work as their guides and problem solvers.