Enough is enough – participants deserve ethical, person-centred behaviour support. As a Behaviour Support Practitioner with over 25 years of experience, I am calling out to the disability sector to demand more from practitioners to ensure participants get the support they need.
Yes, the NDIS has changed the landscape we provide behaviour support in but this is no excuse for behaviour support being a compliance or tick box exercise.
Every person who needs behaviour support deserves support that is based on what the research shows us works and strategies and interventions that make a genuine, positive difference in their lives. They deserve for their practitioner to get to know them, consult with them and understand their needs. Behaviour support plans need to be developed for the person and with the person. Yes, there are legal requirements that demand a practitioner complete specific paperwork and report to the commission however this does not mean plans cannot be person-centred.
Each behaviour support plan should be different; no person is the same. Whilst they may have similar behaviours, a good quality of life looks different to everyone. Good behaviour support requires that the practitioner meet with the person, their carers and others who support them at least once, possibly more often and the practitioner spend time with the person at home, maybe in the community and understanding what is important to them. The focus needs to be on the person’s strengths and skills and they may want to learn why they engage in the behaviour. Addressing why the behaviour occurs and providing them with skills to replace the behaviour is what we know works to increase quality of life and reduce these behaviours. The plan, when developed, must be easy to read, prescriptive and have strategies that have been trialled or at least will be trialled and adapted by the practitioners or those who support the person. It shouldn’t be a report but rather a how-to guide on how to support the person with strategies that directly address the reason for the behaviour and better quality of life. Then the plan needs to be implemented. When a good assessment, and the right interventions and strategies have been developed, this is the most important part.
Whilst funding constraints and commission requirements are real, they do not, and should not, impact on the ability of a person to receive ethical behaviour support. I have been providing behaviour support for almost 30 years and the importance of understanding and getting to know the person and developing practical strategies that address the reason for the behaviour has not changed. All our practitioners at Real Therapy Solutions are trained and supervised to provide person-centred, ethical behaviour support to ensure our clients receive the support they need. We support clients across Sydney and the Illawarra so contact us today for a FREE meet and greet or to make a referral for behaviour support by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 1300 856 617 (option 4) or visit our website www.realtherapysolutions.com.au