Hi! My name is Holly, I am a behaviour support practitioner here at Beam Health’s warm and welcoming Warner’s Bay clinic. I wanted to share with you a little about what behaviour support is, and how we can support you, your loved one, or your client.

What is Behaviour Support?

Behaviour support aims to help people who are experiencing behaviours that negatively impact them, or someone else. These behaviours are sometimes referred to as ‘behaviours of concern’ or ‘challenging behaviours’. Challenging behaviours present in many ways, and what is distressing for one family may not be for another. Yet when a challenging behaviour occurs, it can be difficult to understand why it is happening and what need it is meeting for the individual. 

Through behaviour support services, we seek to understand why a behaviour is occurring, what purpose it is serving for the individual, and how their environment can be adapted to reduce their need to use challenging behaviours. We also try to find alternative ways for the individual to meet the same purpose. 

It’s important to know that behaviour support is an evidence-based, person-centered approach that helps the client improve their quality of life and this can help improve relationships and family dynamics as well.

At Beam, we have many Clinicians skilled in providing behaviour support for children, youth and adults with various behaviour support needs. We provide support in a collaborative and evidence-based way in order to meet the needs of our clients and their families. 

What is a Behaviour Support Practitioner?

A behaviour support practitioner is an NDIS approved person, who has the knowledge and skills to help clients. We can write reports and behaviour support plans, as well as implementing and reviewing those plans with clients and the people important to them. Behaviour Support Practitioners can also provide therapy and direct intervention to the client, their family members or support work teams to assist in reducing the behaviours of concern as well as skill building and working towards individual client goals.

What is a behaviour support plan?

A behaviour support plan is a document that is written by a behaviour support practitioner that identifies the areas of need and sets out the tools and strategies that can be used by them and/or their care network to address the needs, and to increase the client’s quality of life. A behaviour support plan is often written for use within the home, school and community to be most beneficial for the client.

The process of developing a BSP is very collaborative. We gather information via interviews with people close to the client (parents, teacher, support workers etc.), conduct observations, review of documents and possibly formal assessment. This helps to build a picture of the individual, their environment, strengths and areas requiring support. 

Throughout development of a behaviour support plan, a functional behaviour assessment will also be completed. This helps your clinician formulate the reason(s) a behaviour is most likely occurring and the need it may be meeting for the child/young person. Functional behaviour analysis can be completed for multiple behaviours of concern, which often co-exist. 

In developing the BSP, it may become apparent that restrictive practices (RPs) are necessary for safety or when other strategies have not been effective in reducing the impact of the behaviours of concern. If that is the case, your behaviour support practitioner will include this in the behaviour support plan and support the client’s care team to implement these practices safely and effectively.

After development, the behaviour support plan will be implemented by your clinician with guidance provided to the child/young person, their family and any wider supports to implement the strategies and tools within the plan.

Behaviour is dynamic and ever changing as a result of our skills, capacity, developmental level, and environment. As such, the current relevance and effectiveness of a behaviour support plan is frequently reassessed with the individual and their supports with consideration of their goals.

Who would benefit from a behaviour support plan?

The presence of challenging behaviours does not necessarily mean that intervention is required. However, if behaviour is impacting the individual’s quality of life and/or exceeding their capacity to cope, it could be beneficial to explore which behaviour support options may be helpful.

If you think that someone you know would benefit from behaviour support, please feel free to contact our Clinic and speak to one of our friendly staff for more information.

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