Working together to protect, enrich, and give hope

Five local agencies bring innovative safety program to youth

Five local service agencies bring innovative safety program
to youth in special education and residential care facilities

Ukeru alternative crisis management approach promotes security
and comfort for students and staff in classrooms and cottages

Buffalo, NY – Along with Allegany Arc, Autism Services, Randolph Academy, and another local agency, Gateway Longview’s Residential Services team will introduce Ukeru, a crisis management system, with youth enrolled in the agency’s Changing Attitudes and Behaviors treatment program in the coming academic year. The advanced method aims to reduce the use of physical restraints while improving safety for clients and direct care staff. The five agencies will be the first in the region to use a method of this kind, which was developed by Grafton Integrated Health Network out of Winchester, VA.

Ukeru Systems derives its name from the Japanese word meaning “receive.”  Through sensing, feeling and responding to client needs in trauma-informed and conflict-resolving manners, the goal is to decrease physical restraints and seclusions that have become widely overused behavior management techniques.  It was developed by and for behavioral health specialists and educators.

Additionally, agencies utilizing Ukeru repeatedly report cost-saving outcomes as fewer physical restraints lower workers’ compensation expenses and decrease costly staff turnover. By collaborating on training and implementation, the five agencies have already realized significant savings that can be reinvested into service programs and missions. A one-week onsite training is an estimated investment of just over $45,000, a cost which was resourcefully shared amongst all five agencies, making the once out of reach program affordable.

“Ukeru initially appealed to us because their methods are focused on reducing restraints that can be emotionally and physically draining for youth and staff alike,” said Carolyne DeFranco, President and CEO of Gateway Longview. “When we were invited to collaborate with like-minded local organizations, we were all in. By working together, we can learn from, support and share best practices amongst one another.”

The group plans to implement Ukeru techniques in settings with various aged clients across multiple programs. Gateway Longview will pilot the program with select youth age 12-18 residing at the Agency’s Main Street residential campus.  Youth enrolled in the structured residential treatment program often struggle with social, emotional and behavioral challenges as the result of traumatic experiences at young ages.

To learn more about Ukeru, visit their website at www.ukerusystems.com.