DDA Community Residential Services Training

Residential Service Providers Training & Information Updates

September 20, 2019

Keeping current with training requirements

All staff working with clients in the following DDA residential programs must comply with the mandatory training requirements per RCW 74.39A:

  • Supported Living
  • Group Homes
  • Group Training Homes
  • Children’s Licensed Staff Residential
  • Alternative Living
  • Companion Homes
  • State Operated Living Alternative

Rules for the training requirements are contained in Chapter 388-829 WAC and additional standards for the adult residential programs in Chapter 388-101D WAC.

Upcoming training opportunities

Train-the-trainer Calendar

Courses are available monthly region-wide. Every other month the Residential 40-hour CORE and Train-the-trainer Continuing Education (CE) series interchange. 

Train-the-Trainer CE Series (Longview, WA)

October 14-18, 2019 (12 seats available per class)

  • Location: Cowlitz County Event Center, 1900 7th Ave., Longview
  • Trainer: Sarah Blanchette
  • Monday: Beyond Mandated Reporting, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday: Generations in the Workplace, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and Unconscious Bias, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Beyond First Aid: Recognizing and Responding to Medical Emergencies, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Thursday: Buzz for Adult Learning, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and Peer Coaching, 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. (Day 1)
  • Friday: Peer Coaching, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Day 2)


Technical Support Monthly Webinars

Please join us for the monthly Trainer Support Webinar. The webinars offer:

  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Clarifications on training requirements
  • Opportunities for live interaction with peers

Register now for the next webinar scheduled 10 a.m. - noon, Wednesday, September 25.

Curriculum Update

It is time to update the 40-hour CORE curriculum. There will be workgroups focused on updating the curriculum in both sides of the state. The first step to create the workgroups will be an interactive webinar. This webinar will describe the update process and will organize participants for the workgroups. Meeting times and locations after the webinars take place. 

Self-advocate, provider, and other stakeholder feedback and participation is welcome. Please send Sarah Blanchette your contact information. Webinar registration is found below.

Thursday, Nov. 4, 2019, 1-3 p.m. Register

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, 10:00 a.m.- noon Register

Tips for Training New Employees

Community Residential Services is growing across the state! This is exciting as individuals are able to live the lives they want to live - in communities and independently as possible. As service programs grow, there is an increased need for new staff. As new employees are brought in, the following tips might help with trainer stress and burnout and also increase program quality.

Use Peers! Peer coaching programs are not just great for meeting the 30-hour population-specific requirements, they help programs collectively buy in to new employee training and mentorship. Studies show that a positive and supportive peer culture for new employees increases retention for all employees.

Get creative with feedback: Everyone is nervous when they start a new job and most want to do well. Make sure you are always offering balanced feedback. New employees need to know what they are doing well and what needs to be improved. First, take time to build a relationship; ask the person how they are most receptive to receive feedback. Real-time feedback is the best way to ensure that bad habits don’t form. Work alongside new employees to both model and engage in interactive learning. 

Promote a healthy work/life balance: Your new employee may be eager to prove themselves and may push themselves to stay longer or take on extra shifts. However much we need the help, by allowing someone to take on too much and too fast can mean early burnout and higher staff turnover. Encourage a good work/life balance, especially for new employees. They need rest when learning critical skills and adjusting to a new work environment.

Resources, Resources, Resources: Everyone learns differently and new employees may not know how they need to learn a new skills or may not feel comfortable to direct their own learning. Try to make different learning modalities available. Perhaps they need to read about it first or maybe watch someone else perform the task before they try. Maybe they need coaching or need to be in a small group to learn. Try to make these resources available. Sometimes the best resource is just knowing who to talk to if you have questions or who is good at teaching a specific skill.

Flexible Work Assignments: In order to shine, a new employee needs time to learn your agency or organization culture. Allowing them to work with different individuals, at different times, and different job duties may help them find a place where they feel comfortable and where they can use their talents and abilities.

For other training opportunities and CE courses, please visit the DDA provider training opportunities page.

To announce training opportunities within your agency, contact Linda GilInclude the following information:

  • Title of training
  • Dates/times, location (with address)
  • Speaker/presenter
  • Contact information for training registration
  • Is this approved for CE?
  • Who can attend?

For all other training questions contact Sarah Blanchette, Residential Provider Training Manager.