Human services organizations face obstacles towards staff development, such as skill training and job task completion, which may impact programming and treatment outcomes. Staff skill acquisition and task completion challenges are exacerbated by limited resources in a high turnover environment. To address these concerns, two applied research studies were conducted at an agency providing academic and residential services for youth with autism. One study aimed to assess the efficacy of behavior skills training (BST) with rehearsal and feedback on goal writing skill acquisition, and the second study assessed the efficacy of a group contingency reinforcement (GCR) intervention on staff’s successful job task completion. Participants included clinical and teaching staff employed in an education setting, and direct support professionals working in a residential environment, respectively. Behavior skills training with rehearsal and feedback was found to be successful in supporting staff skill acquisition to mastery criterion within one to three sessions, and GCR intervention was successful in maintaining staff’s progressive job task completion. From staff skill development to job task completion, these interventions may be utilized to support treatment fidelity and improve programmatic outcomes within an organization to further promote staff development.
Employees in human services require a significant volume of training and often lack skills needed to perform their job duties effectively (Gravina et al., 2018; Parsons & Rollyson, 2012; Reid & Whitman, 1983). ?Employers must be able to provide effective training in order to maintain treatment fidelity in a resource scarce and high turnover environment (Gravina et al., 2018; Matson & Sturmey, 2011; Parsons & Rollyson, 2012; Redmon et al., 2001). It is also critical that training interventions are acceptable to employees due to the noted correlation between mastery, skill maintance, and perception of the training (Matson & Sturmey, 2011; Parsons & Rollyson 2012; Reid & Whitman, 1983). This paper demonstrates another application of Behavioral Skills Training and social validity to increase goal writing skills of teachers and behavior specialists at a residential school program serving children with Autism. Mastery criterion of 100% IOA was met by all participants, demonstrating that the goal was written accurately and completely. ?Antecedent training, checklist, and template were not successful at achieving mastery alone (Redmon et al., 2001; Reid & Whitman, 1983). ?The addition of rehearsal and feedback until mastery was able to get four employees to mastery with just one session, two with only 2 session, and one employee with three sessions (Parsons & Rollyson, 2012; Reid & Whitman, 1983). ?Social validity data was gathered to determine acceptability of the training style and feedback to improve acceptability of future sessions (Matson & Sturmey, 2011; Parsons & Rollyson 2012; Reid & Whitman, 1983).