Starting a New Program
Loving Animals Providing Smiles makes every effort to meet the needs of the clients in the facilities we serve. We have found it is vital to have the support of management and staff in order to have a successful, long-term program at any given venue.
We are limited in the programs we can schedule by the number of available teams.
Our process for establishing and maintaining a program is divided into three sections: Trial Program, Continuing Service, and Annual Reviews.
The Trial Program Application asks the facility representatives to state their goals for animal-assisted therapy teams working with their clients or residents, provides LAPS with information about the client population, physical space, and frequency of visits. After receiving this application, LAPS coordinators review it with our members to see whether enough teams can attend on the days and times suggested. Finally, a LAPS volunteer conducts a site visit, answers any questions, and completes the application with the facility representative. A minimum trial period of three months or three visits is usually agreed upon. A LAPS volunteer is appointed Program Coordinator and is the contact both for the facility and for our teams.
Following the trial period, a LAPS volunteer will again meet with the facility representative to review the experience, address any concerns and determine whether a program will continue. We need ongoing staff and management support in order to maintain a successful program. If both LAPS and the facility are happy with the program, the Continuing Service Contract is completed.
After a year of visits, LAPS will conduct the Annual Review in order to maintain quality control and make sure both LAPS and the facility are satisfied with the program and make any improvements or adjustments.