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What is Positive Behaviour Support?

What is Positive Behaviour Support?

Positive behaviour support (PBS) is a structured approach that puts the person at the centre of their support and uses practical science about why behaviour happens and how to change it when working with people with challenging behaviour. PBS shifts the focus away from what is challenging and aims to understand why behaviour happens, and how to enhance quality of life.

PBS is not simply about eliminating problematic conduct but instead provides the right support for a person to help lead a meaningful life and learn new skills without unnecessary restrictions.

What kind of support does the Specialist Support Team offer?

Our team consists of Specialist Practitioners and Trainers covering the North and South of England supervised by our Lead Specialists.

The Team uses PBS to design strategies that focus on increasing meaningful engagement for individuals in our services. We understand that challenging behaviour happens for a reason and we need to understand why a person is behaving a certain way in order to design and implement person-centered proactive strategies to manage it.

So how do we do this?

Functional assessment

A member of the Specialist Support Team will collect information through observations, interviews and assessments to understand a person’s behaviour from the person’s perspective. This means looking at the purpose the behaviour has for someone and what is the person trying to communicate as well as assessing their wider social and physical environment.

Behaviour support planning

We use the conclusions of our functional assessments to inform any plans developed from that point onwards. The focus of all plans is on proactive approaches. Adapting our communication to the person’s needs, teaching skills to help a person become more independent or ways of coping with situations they find difficult.

As part of developing reactive strategies in response to challenging conduct our team will also assess the Training Needs of a service and every individual within that service to ensure any reactive plans that may require use of restrictive physical intervention are tailored to the person, are the least restrictive and are non-punitive.

Implementing Behaviour Support Plans

From the beginning of our involvement in a service we work alongside staff teams and at various points of that process we deliver training that is person focused and diagnosis specific and aims at helping staff understand how to best support that person.

Monitoring & Evaluation

An important part of what we do is also monitoring and evaluating the efficacy of our behaviour support plans and leaving practice leaders in the service with a cohesive way of monitoring and maintaining quality support.


Finally, we also offer transition support for individuals with complex needs moving into Lifeways services making sure we get it right from the start and support both the person and the staff team at the early stages of building rapport and the right support system.

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