By Michael Clausen, CQL Director of Personal Outcomes
Danny Queen has been working in the human services field for more than 40 years. He has spent the majority of that career with Mosaic, a provider organization supporting nearly 4,900 people across 13 states. The organization has helped Danny grow his knowledge and skills throughout that time, to support him in providing exemplary services and promoting best practices for Mosaic.
One way that Danny has advanced in his professional development involves his use of the Personal Outcome Measures® (POM), a person-centered discovery tool. After the POM was developed, piloted, and launched in the 1990’s, Danny was one of the early adopters of the tool by achieving and maintaining CQL Certification – a rigorous process that improves POM interview skills, expands data collection and analysis, informs person-centered practices, and more.
Considering that initially attaining CQL Certification is a demanding endeavor in itself, the fact that Danny has held his CQL Certification status for decades is genuinely impressive. Due to the fact that Danny has a lot of experience in the field as a whole along with a wealth of background in the POM and CQL Certification, we thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to gain some insight from Danny. We asked him a number of questions about his history in the disability services sector and his commitment to person-centered supports.
Why, and how, did you get started in the human services field?
As part of a high school senior class project, I tried to volunteer at a local agency that served people with disabilities. The hurried director at the time explained that they weren’t looking for volunteers but that they were hiring. I jumped at the chance and officially joined the human services field in January of 1980.
What prompted your involvement in CQL Certification?
By the mid 1990’s I was working for Mosaic (known as Bethphage back then). The Executive Director provided an opportunity for me to spend a few weeks in Nebraska learning about a group called CQL (known then as ACCDD) and a tool they had developed called the Personal Outcomes Measures® (POM). I gladly accepted and along with several other Mosaic staff, spent time learning all about the POM. After excellent coaching and guidance provided by CQL – greats like Carol Dragstra and Epp O’Neill – I was able to achieve CQL Certification and have maintained it ever since.
What is the best part of working for Mosaic?
There are so many things I love about Mosaic, it’s hard to know where to start!
- The fact that we are a national network which is strengthened by our collective skills and resources is very important.
- We have been blessed with consistently strong leadership that expects quality and celebrates progress.
- We are and always have been committed to individual choice and self-determination.
How has Mosaic supported your CQL Certification over the years?
Mosaic was the original sponsor of my CQL Certification and has supported every re-certification since. Mosaic also provides me with many opportunities throughout the year to practice both my POM interviewing and training skills.
How has the Personal Outcome Measures® affected your person-centered practices?
The Personal Outcome Measures® helps put language to concepts that can otherwise be difficult to explain. Once I truly understood that the outcome is defined by the person, it changed my perspective and freed me up to really hear from them about what matters most.
How does CQL Certification improve your use of the Personal Outcome Measures®?
CQL Certification will help to make sure you stay current with POM interviewing and training best practices. It provides an avenue for you to work with a CQL professional and benefit from their coaching and feedback and in my case anyway, helps to improve confidence with message delivery and decision-making.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your CQL Certification journey, what advice would you give yourself?
The message behind the Personal Outcome Measures® is one that many of us naturally gravitate toward. Get better at explaining why we use it and your training will be much more successful!
What are some tips you could share for others conducting Personal Outcome Measures® interviews?
- The better you are at setting up the interview with the person, the better it will go. Don’t just show up at their door with a clipboard and expect that people are going to want to share their life stories with you! Make sure all players are aware of and provide consent to meeting with you, before you begin!
- The best interviews are more like friendly conversations. Follow the person’s lead and listen for those things that he/she are most interested in sharing.
- Make sure you ask enough questions! Sometimes we cut corners or fail to ask enough questions to make determinations about outcomes/supports. Don’t forget to ask about each of the personal outcomes, even if you believe you already know the answer.
Do you have any POM-related ‘aha’ moments to share?
There are usually a couple of ‘aha’ experiences that I get through my use of the POM. The first comes during POM training, when I see that learners are starting to get the concepts and their language changes from confusion to clarity. It’s interesting to see which parts of the outcomes they naturally connect with.
The other ‘aha’ moment comes when talking with people in service. I love finding out about those outcomes that they are most passionate about! It’s what makes using the Personal Outcome Measures® the perfect way to learn about people and support those things that matter most!
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Since 1969, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership has been a leader in working with human service organizations and systems to continuously define, measure, and improve quality of life and quality of services for youth, adults, and older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities. CQL offers accreditation, training, certification, research, and consultation services to agencies that share our vision of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people.