Striving For Independence
Author – Jasmine Outar-Douglas DSP
How does Daybreak promote independence? I went around the Woodlawn location asking this question to each staff I could find and it was to no surprise that each person had a different response. Different interpretations as to what independence means and how it is used to encourage the best in the people we serve and in staff alike.
Starting with the DSPs, because they work most directly with the people we serve, I received some intriguing responses to our burning question. Daybreak promotes independence by allowing the staff to develop the Personal Outcome Measures (POMS), for the people we serve based on their various abilities. Then using POMS as well as volunteer experience to help them develop their strengths and improve in the areas that require more assistance. The staff utilizes various methods such as giving choices, providing empowerment and motivation, social advisement, and giving prompts along with supervision of certain tasks. As well as allowing the people we serve to complete tasks on their own, only providing assistance when needed.
Many staff promote positive reinforcement to encourage consistent and appropriate behavior that is essential for functioning as an independent adult. The staff engages with the people we serve to find out their interests and what they would like to work on, by asking questions and allowing them the opportunity to try out many different activities. Allowing them the opportunity to fail and learn from their mistakes, teaches the people we serve that it is okay to mess up, as long as you get up and try again.
We encourage their freedom of speech and celebrate their individuality while acknowledging that we are direct role models for the people we serve, therefore we must lead by example; Always! Independence is exercised within our DSPs by allowing full creative freedom while working alongside our team leaders and supervisors. No two days at Daybreak are ever the same and neither are any of the people we serve. With independence comes great responsibility, and we take pride in fully preparing the people we serve for their future endeavors.