Positive Behaviour Support Specialist Services

17th May, 2024

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS): Tiers 1, 2, and 3

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is a holistic approach aimed at understanding and addressing behaviours of concern. Central to PBS is the development of comprehensive behaviour support plans tailored to the unique needs of each person. There are 3 Tiers of Positive Behaviour Support.

Universal Tier 1, supports apply to all individuals, regardless of the severity or complexity of the behaviours of concern. These supports focus on creating environments that foster positive behaviour and increase quality of life.

Tier 2 supports encompass targeted strategies that support positive behaviour to groups of people. They go beyond Tier 1 supports and include social supports, mentoring, academic and occupational modifications and adjustments.

At the highest level of intervention, Tier 3 supports provide intensive and specialised interventions for complex and severe behaviours of concern that have not been effectively addressed through Tier 1 and Tier 2 strategies. These supports are highly individualised and may include:

  • Conducting comprehensive functional behaviour assessments (FBAs) to understand the function and purpose of behaviours of concern.
  • Developing interim and comprehensive behaviour support plans (BSPs) outlining detailed strategies for behaviour management and crisis intervention
  • Providing ongoing monitoring, evaluation and adjustment of interventions based on individual progress and outcomes

Tier 3 supports are designed for individuals with the most significant needs, requiring intensive intervention and support to address their concerns effectively. By focusing on the underlying causes of behaviours of concern, including environments and unmet needs, and implementing targeted strategies, Tier 3 supports aim to promote positive behaviour change and enhance the individual’s overall quality of life. Barkuma is a registered provider of Tier 3 Positive Behaviour Support.

Barkuma’s Positive Behaviour Support Specialist Services

The Positive Behaviour Support Specialist Services of Barkuma, under the leadership of Amanda Wood, has been operational for almost a year and currently assists approximately 32 clients in South Australia.

Focused on providing quality support to clients and their supporters, the team of six practitioners works holistically and from a trauma-informed, person-centred perspective. As strong advocates for inclusivity, Barkuma’s team strives to be allies to individuals of diverse backgrounds, including those within the LGBTQIA+ community.

With a wealth of experience, both Amanda Wood and the team leader, Jessica Howe, bring over four decades of expertise to their roles. Their commitment to supporting individuals with diverse backgrounds and needs has earned them numerous referrals, highlighting their dedication as allies and advocates within Positive Behaviour Support.

Barkuma staff work collaboratively with all participants and stakeholders with consent. By gathering comprehensive information, the team enhance the effectiveness of their strategies and responses. Their approach is grounded in absolute collaboration and partnership, prioritising the client at the centre while actively involving their families, supporters and other relevant experts in their lives.

For Amanda, working with PBS clients is hugely rewarding. “I love the advocacy around supporting clients to uphold their human rights and eliminate restrictive practises to ensure that they have the ability to flourish and improve their quality of life.”

What is a Positive Behaviour Plan?

The primary goal of Positive Behaviour Support it to improve a person’s quality of life by understanding and supporting the persons needs and goals. Positive Behaviour Support also uses an evidence-based approach to understand and address behaviours of concern. It focuses on identifying the underlying causes of behaviours of concern and developing personalised strategies to promote positive behaviour change and enhance the individual’s quality of life.

PBS emphasises proactive interventions, such as creating supportive environments, teaching coping skills and providing individualised support, with the goal of improving wellbeing, and reducing the occurrence of behaviours of concern and reducing or eliminating restrictive practices. This approach is collaborative, involving the individual, their support network and professionals working together to develop and implement effective behaviour support plans.

Who can access Positive Behaviour Support services?

PBS is open to individuals of all ages who experience behaviours of concern that impact their quality of life. Barkuma’s service is available for people aged seven and upwards. It’s a person-centred approach tailored to each individual’s unique needs, applicable across settings like homes, schools and communities. PBS aims to promote positive behaviour and enhance overall well-being, ensuring individuals can participate fully in their communities, regardless of age, diagnosis, or location.

Amanda explains that PBS is open to “people with an NDIS plan and who have Improved Relationships funding. We also provide support to people who pay privately, such as clients who have an acquired brain injury after an accident.”

A PBS plan funded under Improved Relationships Funding must be written by a registered positive behaviour support practitioner who is registered with the NDIS Quality and Safety Commission. [1]  All of Barkuma’s behaviour practitioners are registered to provide positive behaviour support.

A person can be referred to Positive Behaviour Support by family members, caregivers, support coordinators, healthcare professionals, educators, social workers, disability service providers, legal guardians or through self-referral.

How does Barkuma monitor progress and adjust interventions as needed?

Amanda explains, “We are continually monitoring, evaluating and communicating with our clients and their teams so we can work through and adjust the strategies as needed. Our data collection will tell us as well what’s working and what’s not working.” In line with the NDIS Behaviour Support Rules (2018), all Comprehensive Behaviour Support Plans are reviewed within 12-months.

Can a Positive Behaviour Support Plan come to an end?

A PBS plan can come to an end when the individual has achieved their goals and no longer requires intensive support. This typically occurs when restrictive practices have been eliminated and skill building, and preventative strategies have been successful at reducing behaviours of concern.

The end of a PBS plan may also coincide with the establishment of a supportive environment that promotes positive behaviour. Additionally, regular monitoring and evaluation of the individual’s progress are essential to determine when it is appropriate to conclude the PBS plan.

Once it is determined that the individual no longer requires intensive support, the PBS plan can be formally ended, and the individual may transition to less intensive forms of support or continue with maintenance strategies to sustain positive outcomes.

Want to know more about Barkuma’s Positive Behaviour Support?

Complete an online contact form on the Barkuma website or phone (08) 8414 7100