A day as a Residential Coach

A coach arrives for their shift and begins their day by meeting about critical issues from the night before which range from a student having laundry in a washer to a student needing closeness.  They discuss important daily information about each student on their team such as doctors appointments, new medications, campus events, and family visits.  The shift lead assigns each staff member to be responsible for a daily task such as rhythm control, stewardships or school assignments.  Staff then prepares stewardship supplies and gathers student shoes and coats (weather permitting).  Staff will make sure two-way radios are assigned to ensure communication between all teams.  Coaches then move from room to room waking students as they would wake their own child, setting the rhythm for the day. 

As students wake up they begin to preparing for the day.  Over the next two hours students care for the dogs (walking, feeding, etc.), have breakfast together in the community dining room, straighten their rooms and work together to make sure their living areas are clean and tidy.  After the morning activities, students attend school, recreation therapy, or therapeutic groups depending on their team schedule.   Students formal therapy sessions either individually or with their family are scheduled throughout the day.  After lunch and the dining room clean-up, it is again time to care for the golden retrievers and/or spend some time with staff and peers.  During these times, coaches participate in all activities along with the students.  Coaches handle canines, participate in recreational therapy and school, control rhythms, and converse with students about their previous day such as how they slept, or whats on their mind.  Coaches handle issues as they arise from walking the canines to caring for students who are feeling ill.  Coaches provide trust of care and trust of control and continually build relationships with the students.

Many of the students struggle to trust authority, so its important to be firm, fair and consistent.  Fairness is getting what you need.  Coaches firmly believe each students needs are different and work to form a bond with each individual student.  Coaches are there for students when they are struggling and when they are having a great day. Coaches care for students basic needs, emotional needs and any other needs that arise throughout the day.  There are no time outs at Calo.  Time ins allow students to be close to coaches when they are most in need of someone.  Students at Calo struggle with attachment, trauma and emotional issues often caused by adoption, abuse, neglect or serious medical issues from an early age.  Trust is a difficult so students tend to isolate and want to be alone.  They sometimes feel they can only count on themselves for survival.  Coaches jump in the mud with the students and go the distance to meet their needs.  Residential coaches do whatever it takes to provide consistent boundaries and love to the students at all times. 

Evening shift coaches arrive at 1:45 pm and attend a meeting much like the meeting from the morning shift.  Afternoon activities include library time, gym time, school, recreational therapy, dinner, dishes, canines, therapy groups, and personal time to reflect on their day.  By 8:00 pm students participate in team group.  As the day draws to a close, a common topic may be What was your high and low for the day?  After group, students enter their rooms and prepare for bed.  Staff spend this time making sure all needs are met as the evening closes with showers, medications, a drink of water, and extra time to talk with staff. 

Overnight care coaches arrive at this time to ensure the students sleep sound, providing room checks so that students are safe throughout the night.  They assist Calo nurses in meeting any minor first aid needs, and assure that the campus is safe so students get a good nights rest.  They stay until morning staff come in to start a new day. 

Calo Residential Coaches are dedicated to our students and provide for their needs both physically and emotionally.