The transport intervention begins once a transport has been confirmed by the parent or guardian. The following process is applicable to New Start Transports (NST) and its interventionists. For guidance and direction regarding the parents' role throughout the transport, please refer to the NST Parent Guide.
The NST transport coordinator will develop a transport intervention plan based on the needs and requests of the parents and professionals involved in the placement. After its completion, the lead interventionist will receive a copy of the plan and discuss it with the parents.
As NST and parents discuss the plan, the lead interventionist will give the parents an opportunity to confirm their approval or request revisions. After the transport plan is approved by all parties, NST will next confirm the travel arrangements and itinerary with the parents and answer any additional questions.
NST and its employees will make necessary travel confirmations and preparations before departure to facilitate the transport.
NST's lead interventionist will contact the parents when the transport interventionists are in route. The lead interventionist will reconfirm the transport details and respond to any additional questions.
If the transport is occurring at the child's home, the lead interventionist will contact the parents approximately five minutes before the scheduled time of pick up via cell phone. This will allow NST to have a final opportunity to address any more of the parents' concerns and to reconfirm the intervention procedure at the home.
After the call, our interventionists will meet the parents at the door or outside the home and gather any required paperwork or approved travel items for the child. If the child is not asleep or if the parents have any concerns about the child waking up, NST will collect the approved travel items after the child and one of our interventionists are in the transport vehicle.
Our interventionists will follow the parents as they direct them to where their child is located. It is important for NST interventionists to follow the parents to ensure that the child understands that NST's presence is approved and fully supported by the parents. Additionally, NST understands that many children are sleeping at the time our employees arrive. NST does not want a child misperceiving the intention of our employees.
NOTE: Due to its complexity, NST has created sub-categories of the intervention:
Parents will wake up their child. To avoid any misconceptions, when the child is adequately conscious and can understand the parents, they will give a very clear and simple explanation about their decision to get him or her help. It is critical that parents avoid being dishonest and to keep their explanation simple and clear. Because anxiety levels will be very high at the time of intervention, it may be counterproductive to give instructions with too much detail. This can often lead to misinterpretation and overreaction on the child's part. After communicating to the child, parents will introduce the NST interventionists.
Parents will explain to their child that they want to help make the travel and transition to the program more supportive and so they hired a transport service to assist. Parents will introduce NST interventionists by name and explain that they will keep him or her safe. As well, they'll explain that the interventionists have their permission to ensure that they safely arrive to the program. Our transport interventionists will attempt to shake your child's hand during the introduction as a non-threatening and respectful way to approach your child and give further instructions.
Commonly, either because of the child's and/or parents' anxiety, the parents excuse themselves from the location of the intervention. If the parents have not already departed, our transport interventionists will remind the parents that they can be excused. It is much easier for our staff to safely and effectively intervene and de-escalate a child with the parents absent.
After our staff is introduced to the child, the transport intervention begins. Our interventionists will begin mediating the decision of the parents, re-clarify parental instructions, and go over our role in the transition process. While there are some standard details that our interventionists will communicate, their responses are largely dependent upon the child's level of anxiety and resistance. It is critical that our interventionists do not over or under respond. As each child is different, NST's interventionists are trained and prepared to respond according to the specific needs of the child
Unless otherwise requested by parents or assessed by NST, the interventionists will escort the child to the vehicle with a soft hold upon the child's arms. Because the child's anxiety is still relatively high and unpredictable, NST has found that a child's level of resistance can change at any time. Therefore, all precautions are taken to avoid any incidents to the transport vehicle.
After NST staff and the child are safely in the transport vehicle and in route to the airport, our interventionists will begin to elaborate the details of the transport. They will also respond to any concerns or questions that the child may have. At the moment the intervention begins, NST staff strives to establish communication and a rapport with the child. Establishing this relationship early allows the child's anxiety to de-escalate more quickly while increasing their respect for NST interventionists.
While at the airport and in any public area, our staff will remain at arm's length from the child at all times. The child will be given the opportunity for restroom-use, meals, and any approved means of entertainment after clearing the airport security check.
NST interventionists will sit next to the child in the aircraft. Due to last minute purchases, sometimes the reservations cannot select seat assignments next to each other. The NST transport coordinator and interventionists will do all they can to arrange that one staff is seated next to the child. Based on the child's anxiety, we can make additional arrangements to ensure that both staff members are seated next to the child. Snacks and entertainment will be offered based on the airline used.
NST staff begin transitioning the child to the program the moment the intervention begins. However, the transitioning portion officially begins once our staff and the child have left the pickup location. Waiting until after the pickup allows the child to be less anxious and more capable to understand the information staff will share. NST will never lie to or intimidate a child. Nevertheless, NST staff will only answer the questions that they know the answers to and will limit the detail of their responses based on the anxiety of the child and the transport stage. Our ultimate goal is for the child to not experience another anxiety shock so he or she will feel more prepared for the program.
If air transportation is being used, the parents will receive a check-in call from an NST staff member prior to the flight's departure. The call is very short, only intended to update parents that our staff and their child have successfully made it to the air terminal. If air transportation is not used, NST will call the parents based upon the duration of the drive. If any significant changes to the transport arrangements or incidents take place, parents will be notified immediately.
Once NST staff and the child have reached the approved release location, he or she will be released from our care to the program. Most of the youth we work with will say goodbye with either a handshake or a hug as we wish them the best on their journey. We are able to depart like this because, in most cases, our staff is able to establish respect and build a rapport with the child during the transport. While many of the youth we support are struggling with family and other issues, most are genuinely good kids and respond well to the dignity, respect, and care that our staff give them.
Our transport interventionists will contact the parents and give a full report of the intervention. Additionally, they will respond to any questions the parents may have.