Congratulations to Julita Frakowska, who is a finalist in the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards 2022. Julita has been judged to be one of the top entrants in the Positive Behaviour Support category and has since been interviewed by the judging panel. We wish her every success when the winners are announced at the awards evening on 8th July.
Julita is an Assistant Psychologist at 2 & 8 Kingsthorpe Grove, two of our specialist residential care homes for adults with learning disabilities and complex needs. She works alongside Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr Pedro Grilo and joined Richardson Care 18 years ago. In this time she has worked closely with many service users supporting them to develop skills and techniques to improve their well-being.
Here are some of the reasons why we think that Julita should win the Positive Behaviour Support Award:
- Julita champions the rights of people with disabilities and has strong values of normalisation, human rights principles and self-determination to deliver effective person-centred support to the people she cares for. Julita uses behavioural interventions to enhance the quality of life of people with learning disabilities and complex needs.
- Julita’s approach is constructive, blending the rights of people with disabilities with evidence-based practice in relation to how behaviour changes occur. Her interventions adhere to the positive behaviour support values and framework, by developing and enhancing the person’s repertoire of adaptive behaviours and their array of positive life opportunities. In addition, the prevention and mitigation of challenging behaviour increases quality of life, inclusion, participation and the defence and support of valued social roles.
- Julita does not develop the positive behaviour support plans herself. The person she supports will guide her to create the plans. This can be evidenced by the individual choices of each person as well as by the person’s engagement and response to the positive behaviour plan. Julita is the enabler and believes this approach maximises the involvement of the people she supports by considering their rights, choices, culture and, above all, they are in charge of their own life and choices.
- Julita consistently completes functional assessments and behavioural analysis, based on psychological behavioural frameworks to evaluate, understand, and monitor behavioural changes after the interventions developed by the person she supports and herself are in place.
- Julita goes the extra mile to involve the person in educational and therapeutic groups by liaising with external stakeholders. This can be working with local business to find job opportunities, or with organisations to further education, knowledge and offer sense of belonging to the people she cares for.
Additional activities for service users
Alongside the clinical interventions she offers, Julita develops and implements activities, which, also develop service users’ social and interpersonal skills.
Some of the service users Julita supports identified gardening and pampering sessions as being part of what they value in life as it offers them sense of well-being and belonging. These sessions help to reduce incidents of behaviours that challenge and increase positive and/or pro-social behaviours.
Julita worked with some of the service users to develop the “Service Users’ Eden Garden” where they plant and grow flowers and vegetables. The service users are given the responsibility to care for the garden and plants.
Julita also developed a pampering group, which is especially popular with the female service users. They learn how to use make-up, paint their nails and use foot massage machines. This offers them a period of relaxation and well-being, especially after completing their gardening tasks.
In addition, Julita supports the service users to attend baking sessions where they develop their interpersonal skills. Baking also offers them a sense of pride and accomplishment as their cakes and cookies are shared with other service users and staff.
What these activities help to accomplish
With these tasks, service users develop confidence, pride, sense of belonging, motivation and are motivated to attend these sessions. From a constructive interventions point of view this supports the service users to plan ahead their sessions, to be involved in managing their time, to liaise with others with regards what needs to be in place prior to their sessions, to establish meaningful relationships with others and develop a sense of purpose in their lives. Likewise, there is an increase in positive and/or pro-social behaviour and a likely reduction in challenging behaviours.