Affinity Trust’s Positive Behaviour Support service in Bradford, for children and young people with learning disabilities, was launched in early 2018.
The service was jointly commissioned by Bradford Metropolitan District Council and local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Watch our video about the service:
The service is run by a specialist team led by Matthew Hodder, a qualified psychologist with clinical experience and expertise. Matthew has many years’ experience of working with families and individuals with different disabilities and behaviours that challenge.
The children referred to the service so far are aged up to 12. All live at home, and their key workers spend an average of 30 hours a week with them, at home and in other settings.
The service uses the Positive Behaviour Support competency framework. This is a framework for developing an understanding of behaviour that challenges. It is based on an assessment of the social, physical and individual contexts in which the behaviour occurs, and uses this information to develop interventions.
Positive Behaviour Support works by developing the skills of the person and those who support them, rather than by using aversive or restrictive interventions.
The aims of Positive Behaviour Support are to improve people’s quality of life and support those around them.
“Without the Positive Behaviour Support service, I think I would have lost my children” – Shamila, parent of a child we support in Bradford
The service uses positive measures like other ways of communicating with the child, and changing their environments, rather than using punishments.
Positive Behaviour Support works to support families too. It aims to:
improve families’ quality of life
increase confidence in managing behaviour that challenges
better manage the child’s behaviours
enable maintenance of family life in the home setting and avoid the use of residential care, including out-of-area provision.
Secondary outcomes may include increasing attendance at school, increasing the child’s well-being, and participation in community-based activities.
The overall aims of the service are to:
improve the life experiences and well-being of each child and their family by reducing rates of entry to full-time residential care
reduce the frequency, intensity and duration of behaviours that challenge displayed by the child
support the child’s development of independence and life, social and communication skills
support regular attendance at school and an ongoing place in the education system
develop parents’ skills and confidence in looking after their child.
For each child, we agree a maintenance plan with all key stakeholders, enabling withdrawal of the service from the delivery of direct support. During the maintenance period, we continue to monitor outcomes.
The service is funded partly by a social investor, and Affinity Trust is paid only if the children and young people stay out of residential care.