Our Journey

As an agency, Service Alternatives became dissatisfied in 1993 with the specific crisis management training program we had been using and desired a more proactive, person-centered approach. Because we work with children and adults with the most intensive behavioral challenges, we experienced costly assaults, injuries, property damage, staff turnover and loss of productivity. For our needs, the previous program focused too much on restraints which inadvertently caused the use of restraints to increase. The restraint paradigm meant over-powering the client but also many times that response only increased the escalation, risk of injury and damaged the therapeutic relationship.

We knew there had to be a better way, so an inter-disciplinary committee was formed to assess our needs in relation to the programs available nationally at that time. Members of this committee later went on to become directors of human resources, organizational development and training as well as faculty at universities and the Institute of Applied Behavioral Analysis. The committee found no available program which met our requirements so we set about creating our own. The group came to the consensus that the best way to deal with crisis is to prevent it. And thus was born the SECURE (Service Alternatives Ethical Crisis Understanding and Response Education) curriculum in 1994.

crisis intervention training prevention

Research Indicates Prevention

In its time, SECURE introduced a radical concept to the field of crisis management training: Prevention. The message to staff was to work when crisis was not occurring to address the behavioral, environmental and programmatic needs of students to prevent crisis occurring at all. Prevention is also the dominant paradigm in other crisis-oriented professions including fire safety, disease control, policing and risk management.

Prevention seems like a simple and effective concept, but even today it still has not taken hold as the dominant training paradigm. For example, when a specific nationally-prominent training company (which ironically uses the term prevention in its name) teaches staff to prevent a crisis, it is teaching how to identify and react to it after it has begun in order to prevent it from getting worse. This has taught a lot of people that reaction is somehow prevention.

RIGHT RESPONSE De-escalation Video

Redesigned from the Ground Up

In 2006 - 2007, we spent a year reviewing the latest in evidence- and research-based practices, refining our own process and integrating the best methods of adult education. The result of this growth process was a new and exciting program called the RIGHT RESPONSE Workshop. You will benefit from many innovative, new features including Active Video Learning, expanded De-escalation skills, enhanced training options and new licensing options to meet your needs.

Evidence-based Training Success: Confidence in the RIGHT RESPONSE

In 2006, Annandale, Virginia-based PHILLIPS Programs selected Service Alternatives, Inc. to provide their crisis management training curriculum. They were drawn to RIGHT RESPONSE in large part because of its philosophical bias toward proactive, holistic approaches to safety, and its emphasis on positive behavioral support. PHILLIPS maintains campuses in two states for about 320 students who have been unmanageable in their local school district. Within the first year of implementation, the school experienced roughly 50% drops in time outs, escorts and restraints. Additionally, they regained 1440 hours of student time in the classroom which was previously spent in Time Out. Even their claims manager noticed a drop in employee injuries! Please see attached case study for more details on the successful experience at PHILLIPS Programs.

In 2007, RIGHT RESPONSE delivered a presentation on Proactive Communication and Environmental Strategies to Decrease School Violence at the annual conference of Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Education Facilities (VAISEF.) This same presentation was also delivered that year to the Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities (MANSEF) conference.

In 2009, The Maryland Governor's Office for Children approved the RIGHT RESPONSE Workshop for use with their state's residential programs for youth. Only programs that pass rigorous requirements and a written application are approved. The process also required the appearance of the Project Manager for a personal interview and demonstration of all 60+ physical intervention techniques.

Service Alternatives supports roughly 75% of the 295 Washington State school districts with the RIGHT RESPONSE Workshop, including 16 of the top 25 districts as measured by student population. Additionally, RIGHT RESPONSE is the training program of choice for seven of the state's nine Educational Service Districts (analogous to School Divisions on a larger scale) and all three of the third-party insurance providers for Washington Schools. One risk management group has been providing its members scholarship funding for years and another has trained several of their own instructors in order to provide the training directly to their pool members in several states.

Since 2006, the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction's School Safety Center has chosen RIGHT RESPONSE as the training of choice to provide de-escalation and intervention techniques to School Safety Officers throughout the state. The training was chosen over other nationally-available programs as well as the state's police academy training.

In 2009, the Wyoming Boys School selected RIGHT RESPONSE over the long-standing Mandt training for its less intrusive alternatives to physical intervention. Interest in RIGHT RESPONSE Workshop continues to grow in Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Wyoming due to the word-of-mouth spread of its impact on program success.

In 2010, the Service Alternatives Training Institute was awarded the Washington State DSHS Technical Assistance contract to deliver roughly $1 Million annual of consultation and training to families and community service providers. This entails delivery of training for behavioral, medical and communication challenges impacting the welfare of Washington residents.

In 2012, Maine Dept. of Education listed RIGHT RESPONSE as an Approved Training Program and Oregon Dept. of Education approved it in 2013.

In 2012, we produced an eBook called De-escalate Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime: Unplug the Power Struggle with Principle-Based De-escalation. Thousands from nearly 30 different countries have downloaded and shared this eBook. The contents of the eBook has also been delivered in a Free De-escalation Presentation and on YouTube.

In 2014, the State of Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board approved RIGHT RESPONSE as a Training Provider, authorizing us to provide crisis intervention, de-escalation and behavior management training to Indiana's law enforcement professionals. Also, Lockheed Martin, which manages the Antarctic Support Contract, selected RIGHT RESPONSE to provide support and direction for a group of winterover personnel that spend approximately 9 months locked in at South Pole Station because it is too cold to get transportation in or out of South Pole during these months. They have experienced some behavioral issues within this small community who desired to have better skills at de-escalation. RIGHT RESPONSE Workshop will soon be taught at the South Pole!

Anyone, Anywhere...

RIGHT RESPONSE is most used by public school districts, but is also useful in family homes, group homes, eldercare, hospitals, juvenile detention, Boys and Girls Clubs and youth camps. The program has been widely used in security contexts including school security and hospital security.

The success of RIGHT RESPONSE in so many diverse settings is due to its Universal Principles which apply to any age, any grade level, environment, disability or diagnosis. During the workshop staff will not only learn how to apply these principles to the people they now support, but will also have the knowledge to apply these to any person they encounter in the future.

Today, thousands of RIGHT RESPONSE Workshop certifications are issued each month. Further, the widespread success of the RIGHT RESPONSE Workshop is due to successful learning of training participants. Every attendee evaluation contains statistical measurements on their feelings of safety, ability to manage any situation and to create co-operative safety plans within their workplace environment.