Quality Health Care's Behaviour Support team are a positive bunch. They practice what they preach and are always looking for ways to improve how we work and achieve even better outcomes for clients. The team has adopted a positive support framework in their work with clients and families and as much as possible utilise the same framework in how they work with each other and colleagues. Here are just some of the strategies and practices that the team use every day.
Celebrate Success and Focus on Strengths
Our team is always looking to build on the strengths that already exist. We deliberately don't focus on deficits, we very much look to build upon the skills and assets that a person already has. We believe through positive reinforcement and creating an environment that acknowledges and rewards success, however small, we encourage each other to strive towards greater things.
Respect each Other and Listen to Cues
Our whole team listens first and speaks second. We are acutely aware that communication is much more than words and our actions, interactions and facial expressions can tell us so much more about our feelings and emotions. We pay as much attention to the non-verbal cues as the verbal ones and we ensure that we respect each others experiences and opinions.
We never work in isolation and we welcome the views and experiences of all people involved in a plan or project. We work best when we include people who have the most to gain or are directly impacted by the plan we are putting together. We encourage people to not be passive participants but to be actively involved in finding the right solution.
Validate Concerns and Emotions
Being heard is essential when building trust and gaining the confidence of people. We always look to validate how people are feeling and acknowledge any fears, concerns and apprehensions that people may have. We may not share the same fears or concerns but we certainly recognise that they exist.
The Quality Health Care team uses Positive Behaviour Support when working with clients. Positive Behaviour Support is an evidence-based approach with a primary goal of increasing a person’s quality of life and a secondary goal of decreasing the frequency and severity of their challenging behaviours. Challenging behaviour is often attributed to the person demonstrating the behaviour but the challenge often belongs to those surrounding the person.
Family, carers and support people are often challenged to find out why the person has a need to engage in that behaviour. They want to know what they can do to support the person so they no longer have a need to engage in challenging behaviour. Difficult behaviours are messages that can tell us important things about a person and the quality of his or her life.
People who sometimes engage in challenging behaviours are actually telling us something is wrong or missing—and they need help to make it better. The challenge is for people to build support for the person with disability and the people who care for them. Positive Behaviour Support is a comprehensive approach to assessment, planning and intervention that focuses on addressing the person’s needs, their home environment and overall quality of life.
Positive Behaviour Support is about working with families and carers to develop a shared understanding about why the person has a need to engage in challenging behaviour. How does Positive Behaviour Support do this? Some of the ways it can assist includes:
helping the person understand their daily life using clearer ways of communicating with them such as introducing a picture schedule
changing the environment to make where they live and work better for him or her (such as reducing high noise levels)
improving the person’s lifestyle so they have more interesting and enjoyable activities to keep them involved and connected with their community, such as helping the person gain employment and supporting recreational or other activities of interest
changing the environment so the person is involved in meaningful and positive relationships with others.
If you are looking to join a team of behaviour support practitioners who are committed to making a difference and reducing the restrictions people face in their day-to-day life-we would love to hear from you.