April 6 marked 30 years at AWARE for Training Coordinator Larris Allick (pictured).
While he started working at AWARE in 1991 at a children’s home in Butte, he’s been involved in training AWARE staff since 1997.
Currently, Larris’ job is to travel around the state teaching HELP, CPR and First Aid.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays each week he is in a different AWARE-based city to provide training to new and existing employees. Classes range from one to 20 people each time.
Larris says that he’s had the opportunity to meet almost every staff member who comes on board through the training program.
The best part about his job is “meeting new staff and keeping up relationships with current staff,” he said.
Larris is among the staff instrumental in creating AWARE’s HELP for the Professional Caregiver system back in 1997.
HELP training teaches employees how to empower and respect clients. It also provides hands-on training that demonstrates therapeutic holds to protect staff and clients.
HELP came into being because AWARE leadership was interested in moving away from a restraint-based system like MANDT that was offered at the time. Larris along with other professionals came up with program to fit the new AWARE vision. HELP has been a staple of AWARE staff training ever since.
Larris says he has many fond memories of working with the kids and staff throughout the years to include Christmas and bowling alley parties.
He said a time came when AWARE felt like his second family, “It was a job for a while and then seemed like home.”