Person-centred means acknowledging that everyone has personal histories and relationships that influence who we are and our behaviour.
Whole organisational wellbeing means a commitment at every level to employing best practice and building a compassionate culture.
CALM is really a campaigning organisation disguised as a training company!
– recent CALM conference participant
We have been campaigning for the rights of vulnerable people and leading the field of behaviour support for over 20 years. We pursue this cause, we are courageous and speak up, we disrupt traditional (and unhelpful) ways of thinking and practice.
We empower the movement by empowering YOU with ‘best practice’ skills, and the knowledge that you are doing the right thing for those you support – and yourself.
Whether it’s our involvement in research, working parties, a public critique of new pieces of social policy, or the delivery of our training programmes or consultancy services, EVERYTHING WE DO is grounded in the latest research and academic theory.
Our staff have deep and broad expertise across many fields of practice, academic theory, and research, and we are committed to keeping both our own practice and your practice informed by the current literature, evidence base and best practice wisdom.
We are passionate about the purpose of our work and the people we work alongside.
We invest in long-lasting relationships and are proud of the CALM Best Practice Community – a vibrant, collaborative community of individuals and organisations who share our values and aspirations.
We believe in a world where all people are supported by a system that upholds their human rights.
We believe in prevention strategies that reduce the need for restrictive practices and interventions.
And we believe that through compassion and understanding, we can promote the wellbeing of vulnerable individuals, their support community and our greater society.
CALM leads from a strong set of values which inform everything we do:
All staff at CALM are passionate, “purpose-full”, people. We are practitioners, teachers, nurses, social workers, therapists, carers, foster carers, parents, researchers, academics and activists – all united in a need to ensure the safety and best possible support for vulnerable people. We want you to share our passion and get involved in the movement!
We have the best people, delivering the best training and support. Now, if it sounds as if we are blowing our own trumpet here… we are! For us, quality is paramount because the people you support deserve the best service provision possible. They deserve high-quality support that meets their needs and positively impacts their life experiences.
Courage is not necessarily a grand action but can be seen in the little things we do every day. Challenging the thoughts and actions of others; asking why things are done in a particular way; encouraging others to question their own way of doing things – and doing this even when all of these actions make you feel uncomfortable. CALM believes it follows through on its courageous aspirations by challenging you and your organisation to do the right thing…. not the easy thing.
The CALM Community is a vibrant, vocal, deeply connected one! We work hard to develop and maintain relationships in which thoughts, concerns, and solutions to the big and small everyday issues can be explored. CALM values our connection to the practice community and listens well. Our goal is to support you, your organisation, and the people you support in ways that help you to feel safer, place you at the centre of what we do now and our aspirations for the future.
CALM kindness is tangible. We believe it requires courage to be kind – to challenge poor, ineffective and unsafe practices in your service. It takes passion to be kind – going the extra mile to think beyond yourself put others first. It takes strength and commitment to develop and maintain relationships. CALM kindness challenges us all to be focused on the people we support; to be connected with each other in ways that promote best practice; to be courageous in our actions to enhance people’s lives.
CALM was founded by social–worker David Leadbetter as a counter-response to the widespread adoption of pain-based approaches such as ‘Control and Restraint’ in the late 1990s. During this period, there was no formal regulation and an extreme lack of guidance for the health, education, and social care sectors regarding challenging behaviour support. This led to untrained, unsupported, stressed staff, and unsafe – sometimes actively abusive – environments for vulnerable people.
Dave also took issue with the dominant cultural narrative around challenging behaviour at the time. The societal lens was “all about the individual” and blame culture was rampant in human services. People who exhibited challenging behaviour were blamed for it as if they had “chosen” it. If staff couldn’t de–escalate a situation they were to blame for their lack of competence.
Dave felt a calling to try and find a better way forward – a way to keep everyone safe, AND increase quality of life for all.
CALM developed from a collaborative-action research project which Dave undertook with several UK academics, prominent practitioners and national bodies. Its “whole organisation” lens embeds effective systems and proactive, preventative strategies that are proven to lead to a reduction in restrictive interventions and increased quality of life within support services.
Take a look at some of our key milestones over the last two decades:
Our Founder, David Leadbetter begins to develop the CALM system. He undertakes a ‘national tour’ to see what training was in place within the sector, completes a Master’s degree in Applied Social Research, and creates the foundations of CALM through a collaborative action research project with several UK university academics and practitioners.
CALM is piloted with Scottish Autism –throughout children’s and adult services
CALM Training Services Ltd is incorporated.
CALM is now operating in the private sector, run initially out of David and his wife, Carol’s, home in Menstrie, Scotland. We are very homegrown!
Dave delivers CALM training across the UK, and the CALM system informs national guidance:
Dave and current CALM Clinical Director, Dr. Brodie Paterson, organise the very first conference in the UK on Aggression and Violence Management
McIntyre Undercover BBC TV documentary exposing restraint practice and assault at a Care home in England
BILD (British Institute of Learning Disabilities) are funded by DoH and DfES to do something about the ‘private, unregulated industry’ of restraint training.
Dave is the lead practitioner in a ‘core group’ of trainers involved with BILD to develop a code of practice and an accreditation system – only 5 others are involved.
Current CALM Director, Helen Stevenson, starts as CALM’s first full time training officer! Welcome Helen!
BILD Code of Practice is published and accreditation scheme is developed
CALM become accredited by BILD and are the first training provider to be accredited outwith the pilot.
CALM are consistently re-accredited every 3 years within the BILD PITAS (Physical intervention Training Accreditation Scheme) Scheme until 2020 when the scheme is replaced with the RRN Standards. CALM receive their Certification form BILD ACT against these standards in April 2020.
Others join as full-time trainers and administrators and the family expands!!
CALM continues to work closely with BILD. We deliver keynotes and workshops at many of their National Conferences
CALM is invited to take part in a piece of US research – ‘Safe Staff, Safe Kids’ – Federally funded and operated by The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA). CALM works with the Methodist Children’s Home. It is a 5-site study over a period of 3 years into restraint safety and reduction.
At the end of the study – Achieving Better Outcomes is published. CALM achieve the best figures in reducing injuries in children and staff!
This study still represents the biggest independent study into restraint safety carried out in the world to date.
CALM is the only non-US training provider to take part.
And we still work with MCH today! Shout out to MCH!
‘Holding Safely’ is published in Scotland – the first guidance entirely on restraint for the Scottish residential child care sector.
CALM Clinical Director, Brodie Paterson, sits on the working party to produce the guidance – he is even mentioned in the forward!
CALM now employs 4 fulltime trainers! We are growing fast!
Brodie Paterson and Helen Stevenson purchase the company from Dave and Carol Leadbetter. Dave and Carol remain on board for another few years.
Brodie and Helen become Directors of CALM!
CALM now has more of a structure in place with a Training Manager, Senior Training Officers, Instructors and its Admin team – all staff are on permanent full-time contracts – this is unusual in this area of practice and emphasises how much we value our relationships at every level!
CALM works with Business Gateway and receives a number of grants from Scottish Enterprise – these are specifically focused on growth and company development, and overseas development.
CALM continues to grow in staff and market share across the globe. In Scotland alone, we are working with 28 out of the 32 local authorities.
We expand our company structure further. Internally promoting and creating positions for our existing staff and investing in learning and development. Our Training Manager receives his MBA and becomes our Business Development manager. We recruit to the position of Learning & Development Manager – a recognition that our staff are our best resource – this is the first time we have a manager dedicated to staff development and learning design.
‘No Safe Place’ is published by the Children’s Commissioner in Scotland – a damning indictment of the use of restraint and seclusion in Scotland’s schools. It calls for dedicated guidance on restraint for schools. The Scottish government respond by saying that it will update existing guidance.
CALM leads a campaign and e-petitions in partnership with parent groups. CALM write letters to the Scottish government. The Scottish government review their position and announce that they will produce guidance. CALM is invited to be in the working party which begins work in 2019 and is currently ongoing.
CALM receives certification from BILD ACT in relation to the RRN Standards.
CALM take the opportunity to reflect on who they are as a company in 2020. The result is a refreshed brand presence (a new website – yay!) and an increased commitment to connecting with and providing for their CALM community digitally. COVID can’t stop CALM! We are excited to continue to connect with our community through new technology and new ways of doing things.
P.S. – if you’ve read this far – keep your calendar free for 2022 – we’ve got our 25th Anniversary coming up and it’s going to be a BIG ONE! 😊