|Training staff (from left): Rebekah West, Jean Wright,|
John Warren, Ian Bracken and Geoff Nelson
The Training Department at Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) has been evolving to meet the changing needs of our employees and how training is implemented.
MCH has doubled the Training department’s staff from two trainers in 2009 -2014, to four in 2014-2015, and added a fifth in 2015-2016. The scope and focus changed from a department aimed at serving our residential employees to serving the agency as a whole.
“As this change occurred in 2014 the department took on the task of creating an Agency Training Department Manual,” said John Warren, director of training. “This plan was presented and approved in December 2014, and we are currently reviewing and updating it. The manual is designed to help us define our role and for outside departments to understand what we do and how we do it.”
The Training department staff consists of individuals who have worked at MCH for several years in various capacities, including Youth Care Counselors (YCC), unit managers, and Recreation staff, as well as some with experience from working in the community with programs such as the Gear Up program, Communities in Schools, Mission Waco and MHMR.
“As we have been able, each trainer has been assigned 10 departments, units or groups of employees across our agency which includes the Boys Ranch and our Community Outreach offices, to make monthly contact with regarding their specific training needs,” Warren said.
The Training department has also expanded orientation from five days to eight days for direct care staff and for the third year trainers have been able to provide most of the Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) MCH staff receives.
Warren said internal resources as well as outside speakers are used to educate staff.
“Our trainings are more interactive, experiential and fun,” he said. “Training staff has had a leadership role in the creation of and the work brought about by the Welcoming, Mentor and Cultural Awareness committees, all of which enhance our new employee’s experience.”
The Mentor committee has created a pilot program that is currently running, the Welcoming committee has significantly changed the welcoming experience for our new employees, and the Cultural Awareness committee are having conversations working toward a plan to present that will enhance MCH’s diverse population of both staff and residents.
“We are blessed to work at an agency that places priority on professional development,” said Bryan Mize, vice president of quality improvement and Warren’s supervisor. “MCH is experiencing tremendous growth in the Training department as part of the strategic plan. I am proud of John, Jean, Ian, Geoff and Rebekah as they strive to meet a wide range of training needs. I enjoy watching them use their knowledge, experience and personal gifts and talents to make unique and significant contributions to this ministry.”