Door 84 recognises the importance of positive and effective behaviour strategies in promoting people’s welfare, safety and enjoyment.
The aims of our Behaviour Policy are to help service users to:
• Develop a sense of caring and respect for one another.
• Build caring and co-operative relationships with other participants and staff members.
• Develop a range of social skills and help them learn what constitutes as acceptable behaviour.
• Develop confidence, self discipline and self esteem in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement.
Behaviour Management Strategies
The Centre, the Manager and the staff team will manage behaviour according to clear, consistent and positive strategies. All participants are encouraged to contribute to these strategies, raising any concerns or suggestions by discussing it with team members and the Centre Manager.
Behaviour management in the Centre will be structured around the following principles:
- Building a positive relationship/rapport as soon as possible.
- Staff and participants will work together to establish a clear set of ‘ground rules’. These will be periodically reviewed so that new participants have a say in how the rules of the Centre operate.
- The Centre’s ‘ground rules’ will apply equally to all participants and staff.
- Positive behaviour will be reinforced with praise and encouragement.
- Negative behaviour will be challenged in a calm but assertive manner. In the first instance, staff will try to re-direct participant’s energies by offering them alternative and positive options. Staff will be open in stating and explaining non-negotiable issues.
- When dealing with negative behaviour, staff will always communicate in a clear, calm and positive manner.
- Staff will make every effort to set a positive example to participants by behaving in a friendly and tolerant manner themselves, promoting an atmosphere where everyone respect and value one another.
- Staff will facilitate regular and open discussions with participants about their behaviour. This should offer opportunity to understand the negative aspects of their behaviour and enable them to have their say and be helped to think through the causes and effects of their actions. This will come through planned activities around positive behaviour and general discussions when the subject comes up through behaviour or an event.
- Staff will work as a team by discussing incidents and resolving to act collectively and consistently.
- The team will have regular meetings (monthly) to discuss all aspects of work and future developments and more regularly if needed.
- Staff will try to discuss concerns with participants at the earliest possible opportunity in an attempt to help identify the causes of negative behaviour and share strategies for dealing with it.
- Anyone who experiences bullying, discrimination or other unacceptable behaviour will be given the confidence to speak out and it will be dealt with immediately.
- Staff will encourage and facilitate mediation between participants to try to resolve conflicts by discussion and negotiation.
- There will always be a variety of activities available as well as opportunities to direct future activities and session planning so that everyone has choice, in hope that participants will not be easily bored or distracted. There is always extra resources and ideas such as the ‘I’m bored’ folder available with ideas of activities.
Dealing with Negative Behaviour
When confronted with negative behaviour, staff will be clear to distinguish between ‘disengaged’, ‘disruptive’ and ‘unacceptable’ behaviour.
‘Disengaged’ behaviour may indicate that the participant is bored, unsettled or unhappy. With sensitive interventions, participants will often be able to re-engage the individual in purposeful activity.
‘Disruptive’ behaviour describes a person whose behaviour prevents others from enjoying themselves. Staff will collectively discuss incidents and agree on the best way to deal with them. (See ‘three step warning system’)
‘Unacceptable’ behaviour refers to non-negotiable actions and may include discriminatory remarks, violence, bullying or destruction of equipment.
Participants will be clear that consequences will follow from such behaviour and may even lead to asking the participant’s to leave that session or even for a longer period. Parents/carers may be contacted by telephone, or letter and in some cases, participants and their parent/carer may be invited in for a meeting to discuss the incident and agree on a plan to move forward positively.
When an incidence of negative behaviour occurs, staff will listen to the participant concerned and hear their reasons for their actions. Staff will encourage the participant to identify how the situation could have been handled more appropriately, identify what was negative about their behaviour and that such actions have consequences for both themselves and for other people.
*The main priority is to ensure the safety for all!
All behavioural issues and incidents are to be recorded on the daily evaluation sheets. If necessary on an Incident Report form.
In the event that unacceptable behaviour persists, more serious actions may have to be taken such as suspension – this should be avoided at all costs. At all times participants will have explained to them the potential consequences of their actions.
The Use of Physical Interventions
Staff must not use physical interventions unless as a last resort and only then if they have reasonable grounds for believing that immediate action is necessary to prevent a participant from significantly injuring themselves or others.
Physical Intervention should only occur by a paid member of staff and with support and supervision of another staff member,
Before reaching this stage, staff will have used all possible non-physical actions, such as dialogue and diversion, to deal with the behaviour. The participant concerned will be warned verbally that physical intervention will be used if they do not stop. If staff are not confident about their ability to contain a particular situation or type of behaviour, consideration will be given to calling the Manager or, in extreme cases, the police.
A dialogue will be maintained with the participant at all times, so that the member of staff can explain what they are doing and why they are doing it. Staff will make every effort to avoid the use of physical interventions if they are alone with a participant.
Staff will use physical intervention as an act of care and control and never punishment. Physical interventions will not be used purely to force a participant to do what they have been told and when there is no immediate risk to people. The force of the physical intervention will be always appropriate to the age, size and strength of the person involved.
As soon as it is safe, the physical intervention should be gradually relaxed to allow the participant to regain self-control.
Where a member of staff has had to intervene physically to restrain a participant, the Manager and a Committee Member will be notified and the incident recorded on an Incident Report and kept on file. The incident will be discussed with the participants at the earliest possible opportunity and parents/carers if felt necessary.
If a staff member commits any act of violence or abuse towards a participant at the Centre, serious disciplinary action will be implemented, according to the provisions of the Staff Disciplinary Procedures Policy.