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Applicants for employment in AWS direct-care programs undergo a thorough interview and review process that includes a minimum of two interviews; background checks encompassing motor vehicle, criminal and violent behavior; blood testing for drug use; and contacting three past employers for references.

Once hired, the new AWS employee must pass several rigorous training exercises and tests that certify the employee understands and can apply the knowledge and skills. These include:

  • Seven-hour orientation
  • Medication administration training
  • Certification in CPR
  • First Aid training
  • Certification in Positive Behavior Support known as Mandt or a nonviolent approach from Crisis Prevention Intervention known as CPI
  • Comprehensive review of AWS policies, including abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • Specific training customized to clients’ medical, physical and social needs
  • “Shadow” a veteran AWS employee
  • Complete and verify a “competency training checklist”
  • Training on OHSA requirements and standards

All employees must be recertified annually in Medication Administration, Mandt /CPI, Polices and Procedures, CPR and First Aid, and be familiar with clients’ Individual Support Plans to ensure the employees’ skills and knowledge meet and/or surpass AWS requirements. Additionally, each employee undergoes an annual performance review. Of course, various departments add other classes and material which are customized to each program.

Throughout all efforts, AWS employees receive rigorous training that meets and exceeds regulatory standards.