Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #522
CE Offered: BACB — 
Behavioral Systems Approaches to Staff Training: Effective Orientation, Onboarding, and Training Systems
Monday, May 25, 2020
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Capitol/Congress
Area: OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ivy M Chong (May Institute)
CE Instructor: Ivy M Chong, Ph.D.

Behavior analysts work in diverse settings including clinics, centers, schools, hospitals, and other large, community-based "systems". Behavior analysts also work with a diverse population of clients (e.g., those with developmental disabilities, mental health disorders, comorbid diagnoses) and employees (e.g., direct care staff, nurses, doctors, teachers, behavior technicians, behavior analysts, administrators). Providing high-quality orientation, onboarding, and training experiences to employees with diverse experience and education requires significant development, implementation, and evaluation of these "staff training" systems to ensure the best outcomes for clients and their staff. Using a behavioral systems approach, each of the authors in this symposium will describe the orientation, onboarding, and/or training systems within their large systems while discussing the evaluation required to further inform system development.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): onboarding, orientation, staff training
Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts, Supervisors, Administrators

Learning Objectives: See Abstract and LOs on day of presentation
Evaluation of An Agency-Wide Training System to Enhance Functional Behavior Assessment Skills by Clinicians
(Applied Research)
SARAH M. DUNKEL-JACKSON (Centria Autism Services), Jessica Hynes (Centria Autism Services)
Abstract: Functional Behavior Assessment is an evidence-based practice used within high-quality ABA therapy programs to assess and help treat challenging behaviors exhibited by individuals. The specific pinpoints associated with performing these skills require training and supervision of clinicians, especially in large agencies providing geographically diverse applied behavior analysis services. Several effective staff training formats exist including behavioral skills training, video modeling, and performance feedback. The efficiency with which large agencies (and even educational institutions with geographically diverse learners) provide effective staff training opportunities is of great importance to our field and the clients we serve. Using a group experimental design, the current study will explore the effectiveness of various staff training formats on the functional behavior assessment skills of clinicians who provide ABA therapy to individuals with ASD. Results will include changes in observed performance of FBA skills across indirect assessments, descriptive assessments, functional analyses, data summarization and analysis, and reporting. Clinician feedback on preference for training formats and client data will also be discussed.
A Systems Evaluation of Staff On-Boarding: Efficiency, Outcomes, and Design
(Applied Research)
AMY KENZER (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Alexis N. Boglio (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Sienna VanGelder (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract: Organizational growth can reveal under-developed and inadequate systems that functioned effectively when very few individuals were involved but pose challenges with larger teams. Within the applied realm, the combined need for continued growth and high turnover results in increasing demand for an effective and efficient staff on-boarding and training process. Specifically, the implementation of clear systems, staff structure, and implementation support can have a meaningful impact on the success of new employee training plans. Furthermore, when staff are introduced into an organization in a structured way and adequately trained long-term retention is increased. This presentation will provide an overview of the design and implementation of a service delivery model for conducting new staff on-boarding from the initial interview to completion of their first 90-days of employment as a Registered Behavior Technician. Following a Behavioral Systems Analysis approach, the staff on-boarding and training process was evaluated for coordination across Clinical and Human Resources departments, including feedback loops to maintain process compliance and inform further system development, and evaluation of staff performance and organizational fit to drive retention.

Melding Approaches: A Staff Training Model for Orienting Psychiatric Nursing and Support Staff to the Role of Applied Behavior Analysis on an Acute Inpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Unit

JAMES W. JACKSON (University of Michigan Michigan Medicine)

While much of the early research in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) focused on individuals with mental health disorders and individuals with developmental disabilities, more recent history in ABA with individuals with developmental disabilities has flourished while its active role with those with mental health diagnoses has diminished. Additionally, there is a proliferation of comorbid diagnosis of mental health conditions for individuals with developmental disabilities such as ASD. There is also a focus on utilizing psychotropic medication as either a primary or supplementary treatment component for behavioral excesses. The current paper describes an in-service staff training model aimed at orienting psychiatric nursing and support staff to the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, and how ABA can be an integral part of a multidisciplinary approach to assessment and treatment in an acute in-patient psychiatric unit for children and adolescents. Melding a psychiatric nursing model aimed at both acute behavioral stabilization and medication assessment and management with a functional behavioral approach and the resulting barriers to integration will be discussed.




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