By Scott Frazier, MSC
As pioneers in integrative treatment, Sierra Tucson created a new role – Residential Accountability and Safety Coach (RASC) – to bridge the gap between safety and assisting a resident to maintain his or her own level of accountability. Understanding the complex needs of an individual in crisis is vast and residents that come to treatment have various levels of differences, which may include engaging in maladaptive behaviors. Sierra Tucson created the RASC position as a means to track each resident and encourage healthier, safer behaviors in any situation.
Each RASC is trained in ethics, boundaries, motivational interviewing, trauma-informed care, crisis prevention intervention, customer service, and other skills to keep our facility and residents safe. RASCs benefit our community by creating a least-restrictive environment in which they track each resident hourly to ensure protection and care. RASCs must also take attendance and locate residents not attending scheduled groups and activities to encourage full participation and promote a safe recovery environment.
If a resident starts to isolate or fall into old behaviors, a RASC will reach out to a masters-level residential therapist in order to ensure effective communication between line staff and clinical professionals. Each lodge on campus consists of assigned RASCs with whom residents become familiar to create an environment that fosters therapeutic rapport and ongoing delivery of recovery services. The continuous presence of our RASCs has created a customer-driven recovery atmosphere.
RASCs assist with accountability implementation by engaging in treatment team meetings whereby harmful recovery behaviors are identified. When necessary, they encourage the resident to identify the destructive behavior he or she is exhibiting and redirect the behavior to produce positive outcomes. RASCs inspire positive change through approaches that do not provoke further trauma response from the resident. They are skillful at delivering a message that challenges the resident’s behaviors and encourages community safety. Then, the RASCs convey the responses of redirection or maladaptive behaviors to the treatment team, thus creating a truly integrative and collaborative approach.
At Sierra Tucson, resident safety, community accountability, and customer service are key elements of the resident-centered care we provide. Our dedicated Residential Accountability and Safety Coaches work behind the scenes to create an atmosphere that supports healing and recovery. We have experienced tremendous success since establishing this new role, and our RASC team continues to develop and grow. The wellbeing of our residents is of the utmost importance.