Positive behaviour support is a holistic, evidence based, approach that helps reduce stress in people with a learning disability, acquired brain injury, or autism spectrum condition and their carers using tried and tested assessment and intervention packages.
It does so by establishing the causes of behaviour that challenges and addressing these.
We use this approach in delivering our own services within Positive Futures, where our behaviour support is coordinated through a steering group made up of senior operational managers, Service Managers, our Behaviour Support Coordinators and our external consultant from Studio III, Dr Andy McDonnell.
Positive behaviour support within Positive Futures includes training for staff and support and guidance on managing behaviours that challenge.
We also offer our expertise on the creation of robust and reactive behaviour support plans to both families at an individual level, via self funding, or self directed support and on a large scale to health organisations.
We are qualified to administer / interpret the Winnie Dunn adolescent / adult sensory profile tool. The adolescent / adult sensory profile tool provides a standard method to measure and profile the effect of sensory processing on functional performance. We all have different sensory experiences of the world around us, and an in–depth understanding of how an individual experiences the world can be invaluable in terms of providing the most favourable conditions that will allow them to flourish.
We can provide training highlighting the link between stress and mental health and the practical steps needed to promote good mental health and emotional wellbeing.
We can provide guidance on how employers can minimise the use of restrictive practices in social care and healthcare, balancing this with the highest standards of safeguarding and risk assessment. We can provide training on human rights, restrictive practice and mental capacity legislation.
We can provide a holistic, evidence based assessment and intervention packages. We pride ourselves on doing so in a respectful and non–aversive manner and can offer guidance on the creation of robust proactive and reactive behaviour support plans.
Positive Behaviour Support involves a structured approach as follows:
Functional assessment: the aim of a functional assessment is to understand the likely causal, maintaining and reinforcing factors associated with the behaviour(s) of concern. This information will then be used to inform the proactive and reactive strategies used to manage the behaviour.
Comprehensive behaviour support plan: A behaviour support plan is a document that provides an overall view of the factors likely to increase the chances of behaviours of concern and the strategies we can use to prevent these occurring and manage these ‘in the moment’. It is made up of four main elements:
Setting events: a description of the environmental settings that increase the chances of an escalation of stress / anxiety.
Proactive strategies: a list of proactive strategies that aim to reduce the chances of anxiety / stress levels reaching a point where by behaviours that challenge may occur.
Reactive strategies: This involves a two stage breakdown of the management of challenging behaviour as it is occurring:
1. Active stage: what does it look like when the individual begins to become more stressed / anxious? What do you do to manage these early stage behaviours?
2. Reactive management: what behaviours might the individual display when their stress / anxiety reaches the point where they lose control? What do you do to manage these events using the principle of least restrictiveness?
We can help you refocus your healthcare body or team using best practice and the latest thinking to deliver person centred care.
The Coordinators of this service are Darragh McCullagh and Jonathan McGookin. Here, Darragh explains a bit about what their role involves:
“There are three main elements of my job. The first is the “on the ground” shift work where I work alongside other staff with the people we support. This is the best way to gain an insight into current issues and it provides me with an objective overview of the dynamics involved. Moreover, this means that the advice or guidance I give is not based on second hand accounts but rather real time information. It also means that the person we support truly is at the centre of all decisions.
“The second is the development of behaviour guidelines. By viewing challenging behaviour as a response to stress and by providing extra coping strategies, we aim to reduce the number of challenging events. There has been a lot of positive feedback about this new approach.
“The third aspect is training. The two courses I deliver are Studio III Positive Behaviour Management (PBM) training and Human Rights and Restrictive Practice training. The PBM 3 day course is one of my favourite aspects of my job. It is a great way of meeting new staff and I feel that my knowledge of most of the people we support makes a real difference. Then there’s informal team meeting training. I aim to share some theoretical explanations for unusual or challenging behaviour and share learning from other Services where new ideas have worked, for example, reducing restrictive practices in the kitchen so we remove points of conflict and increase the autonomy of the person we support when it comes to things like their favourite foods.
“It is really encouraging to see that Positive Futures is at the forefront of promoting human rights, reducing restrictive practices as much as possible and making a real difference to the lives of the people we support.”