Gerard is just back from a trip to Liverpool where he was commissioned by a local authority social work team to give assistance to a group of parents who look after their children with complex needs at home.

The workshop gives parents a chance to ask a use-of-force, de-escalation and physical interventions specialist about the various aspects of how to deal with the situations which arise when their child with complex needs becomes distressed and might:

  • hurt themselves (self-injurious behaviour)
  • hurt another child in the home
  • hurt the parent or other carer

The workshop takes cues for its pace, direction and content from those attending, who often arrive with questions about frequent or severe situations that arise in their home life when looking after their vulnerable but unpredictable children and who genuinely want some advice about steps they could take, or steps they should try to avoid.

We developed this workshop format and a subset of tactics for parents in these situations over a period of years where we regularly meet parents on our occupational skills courses who were desperate for advice and guidance for home–context scenarios which become highly chaotic, dangerous and potentially tragic in some cases.

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“It was an excellent day trainer was really knowledgeable in giving me tools to protect my child, I only did the course yesterday and already used a couple of these actions last night.  The trainer was also very helpful in giving us legal advice which I wasn’t expecting”

–> Parent of Boy with Complex Needs, Workshop March 2017 in Knowsley

“I’ve had team teach training for work… and this was by far better than anything else …. I will be recommending this to anyone I know in a similar position to my family!! I attended this as a parent and it was totally worth it! I feel more parents should have this training.

–> Parent of Young Woman with Complex Needs, Workshop March 2017 in Liverpool

Gerard O’Dea provides tailored Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression (PMVA), Breakaway and Conflict Resolution training courses for education, care, health and hospital service providers around the UK, so that service-users and staff are treated with dignity and shown respect, even in their most difficult moments.  Combining respectful verbalisation skills with last-resort physical alternatives for true, full-spectrum response-ability has been his specialty for over ten years as director of training for Dynamis.

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