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Things to Consider

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Questions to ask in selecting trainers in Essential Lifestyle Planning

If you are looking for someone to help you learn how to do Essential Lifestyle Planning you should try to make sure that you are getting someone who has the skills in training and has current information. You are welcome to select whomever you want to help you, but there is some information you should consider before you make a decision.

First and most important, how did the person offering the training acquire the skills to train? For example, we offer a number of trainings and have divided the skills as follows:

  • Facilitator – trained to write plans with people. Has completed a 3 or 4 day facilitator course and written a plan that was reviewed by a trainer and met “good plan” criteria.
  • Trainer – can train facilitators. Went through facilitator training, has written a number of plans, 2 of which have been reviewed by a “mentor trainer” and meet best plan criteria. Has received the training materials and been observed/coached by a mentor trainer in doing the training twice and the mentor trainer agrees that the trainer has demonstrated the needed skills. We also expect trainers to stay current with changes and additions to the training
  • Mentor trainer – can train trainers and facilitators. Mentor trainers are people who have demonstrated excellent skills in training and then have been observed by a senior mentor trainer in training trainers.

So, if someone offers training, please ask:

  • What training did they go through (facilitator, trainer, mentor trainer)?
    • When?
    • By whom?
  • How often have they done this training over the past several years?
    • Who could you contact about their more recent efforts?
    • If you can obtain references ask those who received the training –
      • How useful/helpful did the participants find the training?
      • Did the trainer keep the participants interest throughout the training?
      • Was the trainer available for to answer questions and to provide assistance after the training?
  • When was the last time they received updated training materials? (Training materials are updated annually.)

We won’t tell you whether or not to use a particular person, but we can tell you about the current training. We can assure you that anyone who has not updated their skills within the last year is using outdated materials.

In addition to training people who are paid in how to write plans, there is also training in:

  • Supporting people who use services in writing their own plans (there is a workbook for people with intellectual disabilities and a workbook for people with mental health issues).
  • Supporting families in writing plans for their family member
  • Using exercises to –
    • Help people find a new place to live
    • Find places in the community where people can make their own contribution
    • Help problem solve when people have challenging behaviors that create risk
  • Helping organizations make the changes needed to be able to implement the plans that are being written.

You should ask anyone offering training in these activities how they have been specifically trained in that activity.

If want more information or have questions, you can email the ELP Learning Community at mwsmull@cs.com.