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Janet Beckford: Walking The Walk!

Submitted By: Nadine Daley | Center for Family Support

Janet Beckford has worked with the Center for Family Support (CFS) for twenty years. Over those years, she has witnessed CFS’ journey to become an agency that partners with people supported to develop whole life plans.

Janet’s simple method to learn about everyone she works with is to take time walking with them in the community. Janet truly embraces the three Es: Education, Exposure and Experience. Janet realizes that something as simple as a walk in the community, gives real life opportunities to learn, be exposed to new things, and try new things.

Janet has worked with several people and all will respond that they have learned the most in their time with Janet.Janet works with young women who have had difficult foster care experiences. One of these young women is Anita Rackley. During a Personal Outcome Measures® interview, Anita shared that she wanted to move out into a more independent living situation. Immediately, Janet and Anita constructed a systematic plan of how to accomplish this.

Utilizing what has worked to help Anita learn other independent living skills, Anita and Janet began walking. They visited many locations, to expose Anita to a variety of living options. Anita learned the types of supports available, as well as the various housing options. Anita selected a “step-down” type of support, where hours were under her control. Anita felt this was best given her many years of living with roommates. Selecting the type of home was the first of many accomplishments Anita learned walking in the local community with Janet. Anita would return from their walks and say “I exercised my brain and body today.”

Today, Anita lives in her own apartment. You will find many Facebook posts with Anita walking and filming her community, helping her to achieve her goal of sharing community and life with others. Anita has adopted the let us walk philosophy with her neighbors too, using it to build community presence, become a good neighbor, and live a full life.

2017 Direct Support Professional Recognition Week

This article is part of a campaign during the 2017 DSP Recognition Week, to acknowledge Direct Support Professionals who are helping people achieve their individually-defined outcomes, through the use of Personal Outcome Measures®. This campaign was developed through a partnership between CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership and The National Alliance For Direct Support Professionals (NADSP).