Care Delivery

Positive Behavoural Support

What is Positive Behavioural Support?

At the heart of Positive Behavioural Support [PBS] is the idea that by increasing our service users' opportunities and skills, it will increase their quality of life. Most importantly, is the result; by increasing a service users’ quality of life and meeting more of their personal needs it reduces the likelihood of behaviours that challenge.  Once service users in our care learn new skills and ways to communicate about what they want and need effectively and safely, the behaviours that challenge become redundant.


Behaviours that challenge serve a function, to help us meet our needs in some way.  A PBS approach works proactively, it does not aim to manage or control behaviour, it is there to support the service user to develop alternative skills to have their needs met.  PBS gives service users the ability to learn and develop improving their experience of daily life.

To increase quality of life and decrease behaviours that challenge, we teach new skills and make changes to the physical environment to better support our service users.  PBS achieves this by focussing on:


  • Improvements in quality of life for the individual and the positive promotion of desired behaviours
  • Person-centred planning [PCP]
  • Comprehensive functional assessments
  • Distinguish between preventative and reactive strategies
  • Primary preventative strategies are used to create beneficial environmental conditions
  • Teaching new skills
  • Removal of punishment-based consequences
  • Working collectively with all stakeholders to ensure the best outcomes


PBS is based on strong values.  PBS combines understanding behaviours and finding the best way to work with the service user.  The scientific understanding of how behaviour works is at the foundation of PBS.


Multiple interventions are used to create positive change.  Key elements include:


  • Understanding why behaviour that challenges occur, using a functional assessment
  • Assessment of the context in which behaviours occur, such as the social and physical environment
  • Including the people who know the service user well in the assessment process and intervention planning

As members of BILD [British Institute of Learning Disabilities] Caritas Services works to combine PBS with each service users’ needs to deliver the best outcomes for everyone.  The video on this page provides an overview of PBS and how the approach works in practice to support an individual.  For further information about BILD click here.