INTERVIEW: Richard Parson - Community Living New Zealand
Interview with Richard Parson regarding MAPA® and Community Living in New Zealand.
Question 1: What is your working background prior to Community Living?
Prior to becoming the Capability Lead, I have been in the disability profession for the last 20 years in a number of roles, including Facilitation of training, management and support worker roles.
Question 2: What is your current role at Community Living?
I am the Capability Lead. I am responsible for building capability and ensuring the training needs of the organisation are met each year. I also manage Luke Johnson, who is in a recently created role. One of his key tasks is the delivery of MAPA and supporting services to ensure it is applied and reviewed.
Question 3: Why did your organisation choose MAPA?
Community Living had been using NVCI when I joined the organisation 10 years ago. We then transitioned to MAPA. I was asked to look at other alternative options recently, but there weren’t enough clear benefits to justify a change.
What was your experience with the MAPA 5 Day Programme and what were your key learnings?
It is a professionally run program. The facilitator was very skilled and knowledgeable. There was a lot of content to cover in five days, but this content was valuable to help my understanding on the MAPA principles.
Question 4: Have you conducted any training with staff? (if yes, how was it received by staff)
Yes. I was initially trained as a facilitator of NVCI, and then subsequently MAPA. The feedback has been largely positive from staff. The content is all valid, and valuable. I have found it helpful to tailor the learning content to ensure certain aspects of the course are emphasised, depending on the learner’s specific needs/ situation. I do find that there is a lot of content to cover. I have learned to adapt its delivery, to ensure that we spend time on critical things like the COPING model, at a time when staff are energised and receptive.
We strongly believe that MAPA, when applied correctly and holistically, is effective in creating, and sustaining, environments that demonstrate its core values of: Care, Welfare, Safety and Security for everyone. I personally believe that MAPA is a critical part of the “long game” too. Applying and demonstrating its tools and principles in our practice creates trust and reassurance over time for the people we support. It shows people that we have their best interests at heart, and are not going to use power and control to force behavioural compliance.