Podcast: Creating Restraint-Free Environments
Kendra Stea earned her master’s degree in counseling and worked in social services before joining CPI as a Global Professional Instructor back in 2001. In 2015, Kendra works with organizations at a national level to shape their workplace violence prevention policies and procedures. That work is right in line with the organization we focus on during this interview, the Restraint Reduction NetworkTM. The Restraint Reduction NetworkTM first came into being in the UK back in 2014. Its stated purpose is to bring together organizations who share a common commitment to improve outcomes for people who may be subjected to coercive or restrictive practices.
Here are a few of the highlights from my conversation with Kendra.
On the concept and formation of the Restraint Reduction NetworkTM (1:24)
CPI has long been invested in assisting organizations to become restraint-free environments. So my colleagues in the UK got together and said, "Somebody needs to launch this network." But it was important to CPI that it's not a CPI thing because we're not the only one that's invested in creating restraint-free environments. So we agreed to kind of launch it, or host it, create the webpage for it, the landing page, and the membership part of the network. And then we started to drum up interest by talking about it with our customers, enlisting support from experts in the UK on restraint reduction, and they launched that then at a conference that they had last summer. It was really widely received, so why not expand that to the North American branch of our business?
On the goal of the Restraint Reduction NetworkTM (2:18)
The goal is to create a network of organizations and individuals that are committed to making practice safer for everybody and reducing the use of restraint and seclusion or other coercive practices. We want to do that by creating a clearinghouse, if you will, for resources, for people to network, to share data, and practice strategies so that we can have more organizations get to zero.
On the leaders of the domestic Restraint Reduction NetworkTM (5:10)
So I have a couple of individuals who have agreed to support the network as kind of co-chairs for the kick-off, and that is Dr. Kevin Ann Huckshorn, Director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) for the state of Delaware, and Barbara Trader, who is the Executive Director of an organization called TASH. Both women are highly committed in their fields to improving practices for individuals. Kevin Ann works in health care/mental health, and Barbara is really about supporting individuals with disabilities in school and residential settings. So I think it's a nice broad spectrum of support from national experts and leaders in the field on reducing restraint and seclusion.
On taking “the Pledge” and what it means regarding the Restraint Reduction NetworkTM (6:05)
Basically, when you go onto the Restraint Reduction NetworkTM website, there is a button on the top that says, "Take the Pledge." . . . And basically, the pledge says that "I support the mission and values of the Restraint Reduction NetworkTM and the desire to deliver restraint-free services. I will encourage my employer to join the network and make an organizational commitment to staff, service users, and their families to reduce restrictive practices and promises, and minimize the abuse and misuse of restraint.”
The expectation when you take the pledge is that you will share information on the Restraint Reduction NetworkTM and within your organization, that you're encouraging others to take the pledge too, and that you're making a personal commitment in your day-to-day work to do whatever you can do as a professional to reduce the use of coercive practices. . . . the idea is that over time we'll have organizations share their data, share their outcomes, share the practices they were using to achieve those outcomes.
Is there a fee to join the Restraint Reduction NetworkTM? (8:24)
Not at this time. There’s no fee to join. The idea is "Let's get it going and get people joining in and get people access to resources."
Where can people learn more? (18:33)
Well, the website for the EU group or UK group is up and running at the RestraintReductionNetwork.org, all one word, RestraintReductionNetwork. There's nothing that says you can't join that one to start. But we will be launching the US or North American, I should say, version of the Restraint Reduction NetworkTM in conjunction with our Instructor Conference this summer, in July. [Note: The 2015 CPI Instructor Conference is happening in New Orleans, LA July 19–24.]