David Heffron has been participating in the RCCS Steering Committee for nine years. Along with the other members of the Committee, David and Telecare’s RCCS trainers introduced the RCCS into all of Telecare's programs. Program Leaders continually work to grow and strengthen its elements even as the industry changes.
When introducing the framework of the RCCS to new staff and new programs, we often begin with the culture component. There, programs can look at their current systems and structures and find some easy leverage points to make some changes. We spoke with David on some of the most powerful leverage points to start: making power visible, andunderstanding touch points.
Make Power Visible
Addressing the power dynamics within an environment is a great place to start. Sometimes, power is invisible to those who have it. By having conversations to understand and connect with areas where people feel they have less power, we make power visible.
"Really look at where power is being taken from," said David. "By having conversations with staff and with the people we serve about where they feel like they have no power, we get to see things from a different perspective."
In collaborating with different public systems, such as jail or prison, power is not always flexible.
"We always say that all of these things are done with good intentions, but in some ways these power dynamics have caused people to lose things such as identity and choice making skills. Through the use of the RCCS, we focus on ways for individuals to recover the same things that they have lost or in some cases, have had taken from them."
Understand Touch Points
Touch points are the sometimes planned, but many times unplanned interactions that staff have with each other as well as the people they serve. It could be how you pass someone in the hallway or an introduction to a new client. Brief moments of connection can be a powerful intervention.
"One of our administrators was meeting with a client who had just come out of jail and was considering the program," said David. "When the administrator went to shake hands, this gentleman started to tear up and cry. After being in jail, where we found shaking hands is typically not done, the act of reaching out on a people-to-people level was a little overwhelming."
Tools For You: RCCS Handouts
This handout focuses on the two basic principles of the RCCS and provides a more in-depth overview of each conversation area important to recovery.
Telecare has provided services to individuals with justice involvement and mental illness for many years. This handout focuses on specific aspects of the RCCS system and how they address the criminogenic needs of the people we serve.