Assessing Handlers for Competence in Animal-Assisted Interventions

Assessing Handlers for Competence in Animal-Assisted Interventions (ePub)

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 Assessing Handlers for Competence in Animal-Assisted Interventions
Purdue University Press

Book Description

Through practical, real-life examples, Assessing Handlers for Competence in Animal-Assisted Interventions provides guidance to any person working with animals in any setting. Facilities that have volunteers who work independently are in the greatest need of competent handlers, yet many of those facilities accept handlers with only proof of animal vaccinations. Other facilities accept an evaluation of the animal-handler team without knowing whether that evaluation relates to their facility or client dynamics. Both of these problems easily can be remedied with basic guidance.

Howie brings more than thirty years of experience as an AAI provider, coordinator, and mental health therapist to bear on the topic of competence for animal handlers. In a friendly, easy-to-read style, she clearly explains the need for competencies while identifying broad categories currently in use. She then outlines training that addresses those competencies based on individual facility and client dynamics. She further describes one model for easily integrating competency assessment into an interview and provides a form for documenting the competency assessment. Additionally, Howie addresses how to deal with problems that can arise in program management.

Anyone who reads this book will come away with the knowledge and confidence to assess handlers’ competence.

About the Author(s):

Ann R. Howie began integrating animals into her counseling practice in 1987. She has both state and national credentials as a clinical social worker (counselor). Combining her master’s degree with a national certificate in canine learning and training, Ann is uniquely qualified to work with both people and animals, specializing in animal-assisted therapy and therapy-dog training.  She was part of the initial task force which developed Standards of Practice for Animal-Assisted Activities & Therapy.  She founded and coordinated a hospital animal-assisted activities and therapy program from 1990-1997, and she was Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society)’s national Director of Animal-Assisted Therapy Services from 1995-2000. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver (Colorado) and has also been an adjunct professor in the Masters in Counseling Psychology program at St. Martin’s University in Olympia, Washington.