Ellie Barker is a Maybo Trainer in Learning and Development of Positive Behaviour Support at Spectrum Care in Auckland. In this article, Ellie explains why she believes Maybo training aligns so closely with Spectrum's values of empowering people living with a disability to live a life of freedom, choice and independence, and highlights the positive impact it is having upon their staff and service users.
What does your role comprise on a day-to-day basis?
I joined Spectrum Care just over a year ago as a Maybo trainer, which means that I deliver Maybo's training programs to the 1500 community support workers, term service coordinators and management teams within the organisation. During my first year, I spent a lot of time with the Maybo Australia team, finessing and perfecting my training process. It is now my role to deliver the fantastic programmes that Maybo has put together, whilst putting the learning into context for the unique needs of our staff and service users.
What do you like most about Maybo training?
Maybo’s training has such a strong focus on preventative strategy and de-escalation. In a perfect world, support services would have everything that they require to help people meet their basic needs, goals and aspirations without the need for restraints and other restrictive practices being used. Unfortunately, within many organisations, this isn't always the case. I find it so rewarding that Spectrum Care and Maybo have a united vision of how to reduce the use of restrictive practices and improve the quality of life for the people we support.
It's been great to watch staff develop their confidence whilst undertaking Maybo training programs. I often get contacted by team members who say how much more confident they have felt handling situations as a result of the training. Senior management teams have also said that after completing the courses, they have a greater understanding of what their teams are faced with on a daily basis and the skills required to deliver a personalised and positive approach to support delivery.
Maybo’s training can be easily tailored to be specific to the needs of an organisation. There's nothing worse than leaving a training session and thinking “what does that mean for me?” Maybo training is made applicable to the unique experiences of the people in the room, with practical exercises and discussions utilised so that people can share their personal challenges. As a result, staff leave with an excellent grasp of the practical skills they need to apply in their work.
This also means that attendees get exposed to the different demands in people’s jobs, demonstrating the complexities, not only of disability but of how to support people. In New Zealand, a new nationwide system transformation for disability support has also been recently introduced called “Enabling Good Lives”, which focuses on a person-centred approach. I think it fits nicely with many of the concepts and theories that we deliver through Maybo training, related to looking at the individual and their unique needs.
What outcomes do you hope the work you undertake will help to achieve?
My hope for all of our clients and people accessing similar services is that the people that work alongside them will understand them as individuals. I also hope that through our training we can help to break down the labels and stigma relating to disabled people so that they can live a life of independence, build skills and seize opportunities, even if there might be challenges along the way.
Why do you think Maybo training is so effective?
The whole training package is designed around the needs of the individual, and that not only makes it highly effective, but it also helps improve well-being and quality of life. As mentioned previously, I also think the fact that the Maybo training is so easily tailored to the organisation really makes a massive difference too.
Another thing for me personally is that the Maybo management team is so supportive - there is a culture of striving for continual improvement. Everybody that I've encountered within the organisation is always very eager to help. If something needs explaining, they’ll say, “let's have a Zoom meeting, let's talk this through.”
Recently, we had to meet a highly specific and complex support need for an individual. Neil from Maybo offered the staff a specialised one-on-one session that addressed their needs, going above and beyond our training contract and expectations. I’ve never heard that happening in any other organisation. It is really nice to know that we can turn to Maybo for this level of help and support.