Positive Behaviour Support

Some Queensland adults with a cognitive or intellectual disability exhibit severely challenging behaviour.  This is behaviour that either causes physical harm to the adult or others, or represents a serious risk of physical harm to the adult or others.

The Disability Services Act 2006 safeguards the rights of Queenslanders with a disability and includes a framework for disability service providers to provide positive behaviour support. The framework aims to improve the quality of life of adults with an intellectual or cognitive disability who exhibit challenging behaviour and ensures that restrictive practices are only used when necessary to protect the adult or others from physical harm.

Positive behaviour support is an approach that is responsive to an individual's needs. It requires a thorough understanding of a person and their behaviour in order to determine the best ways to support them. A key goal of positive behaviour support is to help these adults participate more actively in their lives and reduce or eliminate the use of restrictive practices.

Amendments to the Disability Services Act 2006 came into place in Queensland on 1 July 2014 to provide additional protections for these adults, and streamline processes to make it easier for disability service providers to meet their legal obligations while increasing their accountability around the use of restrictive practices.   This increased accountability includes a new requirement for service providers to report on every instance of use of a restrictive practice.

Under the Disability Services Act 2006 disability service providers are:

  • services provided by Disability Services
  • services funded by Disability Services or
  • services prescribed by regulation and funded under a NDIS participant plan

The six key steps (PDF, 406 KB) six key steps (RTF, 18 KB) for service providers to meet their obligations are:

  • Step 1 - identify any restrictive practices in use;
  • Step 2 - provide a statement about the use of restrictive practices to the adult and stakeholders;
  • Step 3 - make a short-term approval application;
  • Step 4 - develop a positive behaviour support plan;
  • Step 5 - seek approval, implement and review the plan;
  • Step 6 - record and report on the use of all restrictive practices.

The following publications and resources have been developed to help people with disability, family members, carers, guardians, service providers and support workers understand their roles and responsibilities in providing positive behaviour support and the use of restrictive practices.

Restrictive Practices and the legislation in Queensland

Information that outlines the legal requirements of all service providers in Queensland who are funded by Disability Services or funded under a NDIS participant plan and provide disability services to adults with an intellectual or cognitive disability whose behaviour causes harm to themselves or others.

Information for service providers

Documents, fact sheets and forms to assist disability service providers and support workers to understand their roles and responsibilities in providing positive behaviour support and the use of restrictive practices.

Information for people with a disability, families and carers

Information and resources in an easy to read format including a guide for families.

Policies and Procedures

Under the Human Services Quality Framework, service providers require policies on the use of restrictive practices. The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services policies and procedures are below for service providers to use as a reference.

Contact information

Find out who to contact in your region to help you implement positive behaviour support and reduce and/or eliminate the use of restrictive practices.

Centre of Excellence for Clinical Innovation and Behaviour Support

The Centre of Excellence for Clinical Innovation and Behaviour Supports oversees the practice reforms arising out of the Disability Services Act 2006 amendments. This includes providing a central point of contact for restrictive practice matters, delivering training, providing guidelines and educative resources and overseeing the new reporting and recording requirements.

Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.