Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Direct Care Training Resources

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Safe & Positive Approaches

Part 2: Safety Techniques Training Program Description

Safety Techniques Training presents safe and effective physical intervention techniques that are used in situations in which someone is being physically threatened or harmed and verbal intervention alone is not effective. Safety Techniques provide staff members with passive, evasive movements that protect and minimize the risks of injury to themselves, the individual and others.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to identify the circumstances under which Safety Techniques are to be used and be able to define a "crisis" situation.
  2. Participants will be able to describe the underlying principles of Safety Techniques which include Position, Leverage, Balance and Conservation of Energy.
  3. Participants will be able to identify the appropriate Safety Technique to use in crisis situations and be able to correctly perform each technique approved for use at their setting.
  4. Participants will be able to identify advantages and benefits, as well as limitations and risks, of each technique.

Core Program Activities:

  • Four Basic Principles
  • Deflection Techniques
  • Grab Releases
  • Bite Releases
  • Hair-pull Controlling Techniques
  • Choke Releases

NOTE: Safety Techniques are trained and utilized by staff only as approved and specified by organizational policy and procedure.

Supplemental Learning Activities: 

  • Understanding Reactions to Stress
  • De-Escalation Responses
  • Crisis Intervention Guidelines
  • Understanding and Preventing Unsafe Behaviors

Part 2: Safety Techniques Train-the-Trainer Program

Safety Techniques Train-the-Trainer prepares trainer-candidates to teach the concepts and skills of the Safety Techniques Training (STT) program, for use by their organization’s staff, as approved and specified by organizational policy and procedure. Participants in this two-day trainer-certification program learn the underlying concepts and principles on which the techniques are based, and they develop a foundation of physical skills designed to minimize the risks of injury and distress in crisis situations.

In addition to their acquisition of curricular content and skills, trainer-candidates learn how to provide a safe and structured learning environment, how to use a variety of instructional methods to teach physical techniques, and how to provide coaching and assessments of learners’ skills. Participation includes step-by-step demonstrations, hands-on practice, written and practical assessments, practice-training presentations and observations, and diagnostic feedback. Each participant receives the STT trainer’s manual, handouts, assessment tools and supplementary training resources.

Due to the physical elements of STT participants must have the following physical abilities in order to participate:

  • ability to comfortably perform a series of flexibility exercises 
  • ability to maintain a balanced stance with feet shoulder-width apart and weight on the balls of the feet 
  • ability to perform three fundamental movements of STT (i.e. steps, shuffles and pivots)

Upon successful completion of the Safety Techniques Train-the-Trainer program, certification is awarded to qualified participants by Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health. Participation does not guarantee certification. Web-accessible training resources (via trainer login) are available to certified Trainers. Annual Trainer Updates are required to maintain trainer-certification.