The Queensland Government’s priority is to reform and revitalise front-line services. This includes services for people with a disability and their families and carers. To achieve this priority the Department is committed to supporting as many people with a disability as possible using the disability budget in accord with the Disability Services Act (2006).
To maximise the number of people with a disability who can receive supports, the department is ensuring that supports and services provided are directly related to the disability needs of the person with a disability.
Intensive Behaviour Support Teams
Disability Services' Intensive Behaviour Support Teams work with adults whose behaviour has been found challenging by their support network.
The team members work with the person, their family, carers and service providers to achieve a better quality of life for the person and to try to prevent potential loss of existing community supports or exclusion from community life.
Staff on the team will discuss the issues with the person and their support network and match the team's intervention strategy to the identified needs. In all cases the intention is to develop the capacity and understanding of the person's support networks to change the current situation and to support the person well into the future.
A positive behaviour support framework is used, emphasising the development of positive intervention strategies and using a person centred approach.
Teams comprise a mix of professional staff and other skilled staff including: Psychologists; Occupational Therapists, Resource Officers, Speech and Language Pathologists.
How does the team provide services?
The work of the Intensive Behaviour Support teams is based on three central goals:
- facilitating and promoting the prevention of behaviours that challenge the person's support network and put the person and others at risk
- encouraging the identification and accessing of natural and informal community-based responses to meet the needs of people
- identifying, providing and coordinating formal behaviour support and intervention services where this is necessary.
The Intensive Behaviour Support teams use different service types dependent on the assessed needs of the person and support network and can include any one of or combination of the following:
- information regarding possible reasons certain behaviours occur, how environments can be changed to be more supportive and how skills can be developed to assist people to attain greater participation and control over their own lives
- short term consultation and outreach when support is needed by people with a disability, families, carers or service providers outside an Intensive Behaviour Support team's geographical service boundary and/or where support services, families or carers are just needing some additional input to assist with a situation
- education and training to support families and service providers to build their capacity and understanding of better ways to support a person and to identify issues and address these as early as possible
- direct intervention through the delivery of specialised services, for example counselling, teaching new skills or psychological services
- intensive behaviour support and intervention, which includes functional assessment and development of a comprehensive support plan.
To implement long term positive changes in people's lives the person and their support network need to work together to develop the optimum support environment possible for the person. In conjunction with the person and others who know the person well the team will explore what is happening for someone in life areas such as:
- Leisure and work activities
- Living environment
- Real decision making
- Health and well being
- Skill development
By addressing any needs or gaps across these areas often issues can be identified and solutions identified by the group.
The IBST staff provide services as agreed in a Support Agreement which is negotiated between the IBST and the person and their support network. The Support Agreement outlines the responsibilities of all parties in supporting a positive change for the person with a disability. The IBST does not provide ongoing support in a long term manner but withdraws as the situation improves for the person and their support network.
Of course if future issues arise a new referral or contact can always be made with the team.
Who is eligible to receive assistance through the Intensive Behaviour Support Team?
To be eligible for Intensive Behaviour Support a person must:
- be 18 years of age or older
- have a disability that is attributable to an intellectual, psychiatric, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairment or a combination of impairments
- that is permanent or likely to be permanent
- is present before age of 65
- present with behaviours that are placing the person or others at risk of harm and/or impacting significantly on the person's quality of life.
Referrals are prioritised, however teams attempt to provide some support or advice to all people who meet the access criteria.
In cases where the team does not undertake a full assessment and develop a plan they may for example provide:
- a consultation to discuss possible strategies and changes to improve the situation or
- a relevant training or education session to assist the support network develop better ways to support the person.
Referrals may be made directly to the team in the region where the person with a disability lives.
For more information about the Intensive Behaviour Support teams, please contact your nearest Disability Services office. See the fact sheet for a list of offices.