What is a Behaviour Support Practitioner?


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Behaviour support practitioners help people with emotional and behavioural needs to improve their well-being and manage their interactions with others. The work involves creating treatment plans for people with challenging behaviour that puts them or others at risk or creates poor quality of life. The aim is to change how such behaviour affects their ability to participate in normal daily activities. Most behaviour support practitioners try to help people develop the skills for dealing with their negative behaviour patterns by managing their emotions and communicating better with others. Behaviour support practitioners work in hospitals and schools or make home visits to help people deal with their behavioural problems.

what is a behaviour support practitioner

Types of behaviour support practitioners.

Autism behaviour support practitioners help people with autism to relate better with others and limit their negative responses to situations by developing social skills and coping mechanisms for sensory challenges. Age and disability support practitioners work with the elderly and the disabled by providing counselling and emotional support. School behaviour support practitioners work with teachers and parents to improve children’s behaviour, especially those with aggressive and suicidal tendencies.

Working as a behaviour support practitioner.

A positive behaviour support practitioner helps people develop strategies to reduce their negative behaviour. The practice involves observing and evaluating behaviour patterns to find the causes of challenging behaviour. A practitioner will then create a plan to help their patients lead better lives by counselling, guiding, and training them to develop coping skills. Practitioners liaise with teachers and parents to support child patients, for example by guiding parents on their parenting skills. Practitioners collect patient progress data via assessments and interviews to ensure that support practices meet quality standards. A positive behaviour support practitioner works in community settings or visits patients at home. The practice involves some travelling to provide support services in community settings. Practitioners might work with behaviour support specialists, mental health nurses, social workers, support workers, and learning and disability teachers. They can also work closely with other teachers, nurses and psychiatrists.

Education to become a behaviour support practitioner.

Pursuing a degree in a relevant field such as social science, social work, behavioural science or psychological science is normally the first requirement of the role. These courses provide the necessary skills to help people with behavioural problems. In order to develop career prospects and skills, a postgraduate degree in psychology would be the next step. After graduation, work usually starts in entry-level roles to gain experience. This might involve shadowing a behaviour support practitioner or working in counselling and disability support. It is also necessary to register with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to qualify fully as a registered practitioner.

Behaviour support practitioner skills and competencies

Behaviour support practitioners rely on communication skills to conduct behavioural assessments and develop care plans. Practitioners also require active listening skills to engage with patients and understand their perspectives more easily. Critical thinking skills enable a behaviour support practitioner to consider alternative treatment strategies and creative care plans to assist patients with their development.


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