Positive behaviour support

Behaviours which challenge always happens for a reason and might be the only way a person can communicate - it can arise for different reasons, which are personal to the individual.

Positive behaviour support (PBS) is a person-centred approach to support people who display or are at risk of displaying behaviours which challenge. 

It’s important that adult social care workers have the right skills and knowledge to use this approach and we have resources to help.

What is positive behaviour support?

Positive behaviour support (PBS) is a person-centred approach to people with a learning disability and/ or autistic people, who display or at risk of displaying behaviours which challenge. 

It involves understanding the reasons for the behaviour and considering the person as a whole - including their life history, physical health and emotional needs - to implement ways of supporting the person. 

It involves:

  • understanding the reasons for behaviours which challenge
  • assessing the broad social and physical context in which the behaviour occurs - including the person's life history, physical and mental health, and the impact of any traumatic life events
  • planning and implementing ways of supporting the person which enhance quality of life for both the person themselves and their carers.  

It focuses on creating physical and social environments that are supportive and capable of meeting people's needs, and teaching people new skills to replace the behaviours which challenge. 

How can we help? 

Our resources explain what skills and knowledge workers need to provide PBS, and how adult social care employers can find and deliver high quality training. 

 

One part of PBS is to understand why the behaviour happens, how it's been learned and how it's maintained - this is called a functional assessment

When you've found the reason, you should produce a PBS plan that includes ways of intervening when people are at risk of displaying behaviour that challenges, and includes teaching new skills. 

PBS plans should be co-produced and followed by everyone involved in supporting the person, including the person and their family. 

To put PBS into practice adult social care services need to:

  • have the right workplace values and ensure their staff match them
  • include individuals and their families in the process 
  • give adequate time to complete the process
  • provide staff training and good practice management
  • do on-going monitoring and evaluation.

The Centre for the Advancement of PBS at BILD have created an animation that gives an overview of PBS and how PBS approaches work in practice when supporting an individual.

 

The UK PBS competence framework explains the things that you need to know and the things that you need to do when delivering best practice PBS to people with learning disabilities and/ or autistic people who display or at risk of displaying behaviours which challenge.

The PBS Academy has also developed Standards for Services which outlines the standards services should meet when delivering PBS. 

 

In conjunction with Imaginarium Seed and in support of the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme, we produced four films to show some of the issues, difficulties and benefits of supporting adults with learning disabilities who can display behaviours which challenge in their communities.

 

 

 

The PBS and autism training fund in 2016-17 was used to explore the use of 'personal workforce budgets' to train and develop the workforce to better support people with learning disabilities and/ or autistic people, who display or at risk of displaying behaviours which challenge. 

It was funded by the ‘positive and safe programme’ to contribute to the aims of the Transforming Care programme.

A personal workforce budget is an amount of money allocated and spent specifically on developing the skills of the workforce that support an individual, including: 

  • developing ‘skills around the person’
  • interagency/ multi agency work at a person centred level
  • providing training in line with PBS competency framework or good autism practice
  • contributing to the discharge (or avoided likely admission) of one or more persons.

Download the evaluation report

Read these case studies to find out how organisations used the fund to improve outcomes for people with learning disabilities and/ or autistic people who display or are at risk of displaying behaviours which challenge. 

  • Read how The Lifeways Group used the fund to train staff who support Keith, who has a learning disability, complex autism and related anxiety. They worked with staff to develop a positive behaviour support plan, communication skills and ways they could encourage Keith to engage more. As a result, Keith now leads a more fulfilled life, with reduced levels of anxiety and his behaviour patterns have changed. 

  • Read how The Lifeways Group used the fund to train staff who support Jeremy, who has a severe learning disability, Downs Syndrome and Klinefelter syndrome. They used the fund to improve communication between Jeremy and staff, including developing a video of the Makaton signs that Jeremy uses. As a result, Jeremy accesses the community every day and the number of incidents of behaviour that challenges has decreased. 

  • Read how Wirral Evolutions used the fund to train staff how to better support autistic people who display or are at risk of displaying behaviour which challenges. They trained over 100 staff on courses ranging from an 'introduction to positive behavioural support, to 'coaches training'.