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  • Writer's pictureKate Bradshaw

Principles of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS)

The evidence from the research is clear: behaviours of concern and implementing restrictive practices can typically be reduced with positive behaviour support (PBS) strategies! PBS supports people of all ages in all settings in reducing behaviours of concern by increase the person’s quality of life, and decreasing behaviours that causes harm to the person or others that usually result in restrictive practices. PBS focuses on understanding the purpose that the behaviour of concern is serving for the person within their environment.

What’s more, PBS focuses on identifying the person’s strengths, areas for skill development, and making changes to the person’s environment to help make communication and interaction easier for the person. Remember to practice the seven 'Ps' of positive behaviour support:

  • Person-centred: ensuring the person is always at the centre.

  • Partnership: working closely with the person and their supporters to shape the process.

  • Planned: creating a clear and positive Behaviour Support Plan (BSP) to ensure shared understandings and accountability.

  • Positive: focusing on being preventative, not just reactive.

  • Purposeful: using a Functional Assessment to know the reason for the behaviour.

  • Process driven: following a process of identifying, assessing, planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating data.

The main feature of positive behaviour support is the use of a Behaviour Support Plan (BSP) based on a Functional Behavioural Assessment (FBA) developed by a Behaviour Support Practitioner. A Functional Assessment of behaviour (sometimes known as a ‘Behaviour Assessment’) is the process for determining the function or purpose behind a person’s behaviour usually involves the collection of data (such as observations, file reviews and discussions between the Behaviour Support Practitioner and those who know the person well) to develop an understanding of the circumstances that contribute to the behaviour of concern. The Functional Behaviour Assessment then informs the Positive Behaviour Support Plan so effective individualised strategies and replacement behaviours, in a way that reduces the occurrence and impact of those behaviours of concern, and the use of restrictive practices. The Behaviour Support Plan and should contain:

  • Strategies to build on the person's strengths.

  • Strategies to reduce the behaviour(s) of concern.

  • Positive strategies to be used prior to using restrictive practice.

  • Identification of regulated restrictive practices.

  • A detailed summary/protocol for each proposed restricted practice.

  • Evidence of the consultation process with others (including a person with knowledge of positive behaviour support) during the plan development.

  • Strategies for monitoring and team responsibilities.

For further information please refer to the NSW Restrictive Practices Authorisation Policy and the NSW Restrictive Practices Authorisation Procedural Guide by clicking here.

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