Positive Behaviour Support Service (PBSS)

About PBSS

The Positive Behaviour Support Service (PBSS) is a specialist service that works to support behaviour change and improved quality of life for people with autism and/or learning disabilities who engage in challenging behaviour.  The Team Includes:

  • Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBAs*)
  • Assistant Behaviour Analysts
  • Specially trained Behaviour Practitioners

*For more information visit the website of the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (BACB): www.bacb.com

Everyone within the team has experience in working with children and adults who present behaviour that challenges.

What is the purpose of our service and definition?

The aim of PBSS involvement with an individual is to provide assessment and related intervention and support plans that:

  • reduce the occurrence of challenging behaviour,
  • increase the individual’s use of functional skills to meet their needs, and
  • improve the quality of life of the individual and the people around them.

Definition of challenging behaviour. When we use the term we mean:

“…culturally abnormal behaviour of such intensity, frequency or duration that the physical safety of the person or others is    placed in serious jeopardy, or behaviour which is likely to seriously limit or deny access to the use of ordinary community facilities.” (Emerson, 1995)

Who do we work with?

Too be eligible for referral to PBSS, the child must be engaging in behaviour that challenges the support they receive.

The core service provided by PBSS is for children who have a diagnosis of moderate or severe learning disability (including conditions such as Autistic Spectrum Condition – ASC).

Education specific support (focused upon mainstream schools and resource units) is provided for children who have a diagnosis of ASC/social communication difficulties (with or without a learning disability), or be on the ASC or SOC/COM diagnostic pathway.

PBSS is currently commissioned to work in Halton (adults and children), as well as a number of neighbouring commissioning areas.

What do PBSS do?

The approach to assessment and intervention used by PBSS is positive behaviour support (PBS). PBS is a values-based, person-centred approach to supporting behaviour change. The techniques and strategies used in PBS are based on the science of applied behaviour analysis (ABA).

The starting point of any assessment is that the behaviour of concern is meeting some need for the individual. The purpose of the assessment is to understand the function that the behaviour serves for the person, so that they can be supported to meet the same need in a more appropriate way.

PBSS Core Values
The core value that underpins our work is that every person with a Learning Disability or Autism has the right to an ordinary life within his or her community and to be treated as an individual. For most people this means being a valued part of a valued community, having a range of valued personal relationships, making choices, developing skills and abilities, and being treated by others with dignity and respect. Challenging behaviour should not be a barrier to living in the community.
PBSS Assessment & Intervention
These values underpin our work. Issues relating to challenging behaviour are considered within the context of a person’s quality of life. Intervention focuses on changing aspects of a person’s social environment that affect challenging behaviour. Assessment identifies what needs to change and how.

An emphasis is placed on building behavioural skills as opposed to suppressing or eliminating challenging behaviour. The process is highly individualised. No two people are the same, no two situational contexts are the same, and no two learning histories are the same.

Referral, Triage and Allocation
  • Closed referral pathways are in place, which vary across authorities and between children’s and adult’s services.
  • Referrals are frequently received from Social Workers, CAMHS workers, Community LD nurses, Educational Psychologists, Head Teachers, SENCOs, etc.
  • PBSS utilise a strict triage process, which helps us to understand immediate risks posed by behaviour and the impact it has on individuals and their family.
  • Allocation is according to triage score rather than date of referral.
  • Additionally the triage process helps us to understand if the referral is appropriate and meets the threshold for PBSS support.
  • Please note not all referrals are accepted.
Contact Details
Further information on the service can be obtained by contacting the team

Telephone: 0151 511 8444

Email: PositiveBehaviourSupportService@halton.gov.uk

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