Facilitating supported decision-making in behaviour support

My role as a service provider  

People with disability have the right to be involved in their behaviour support plans. This includes making decisions about what’s important to them and how they want to be supported. They may need your support to facilitate this meaningful engagement.  

Providing support for decision making in behaviour support is the responsibility of service providers, Behaviour Support Practitioners and supporters, including support staff. 

As a service provider you play a key role in facilitating this process. It takes careful consideration, planning and skill to:  

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If you are a support worker click here for information relevant to your role.

  • safeguard the right of people with disability to be involved in their behaviour support. 
  • help them collaborate and contribute to their behaviour support process. 
  • improve their quality of life through enrichment strategies, systems change and improving environments. 
  • address barriers to decision making processes and systems that prevent their engagement in behaviour support.  
  • support the development of capable and skilled decision supporters (including support staff workforce).  
  • create supportive environments that assist them to live good lives.
  • establish operational systems that reflect positive organisational culture and shared person-centred values.

Behaviour support comes from the principles of person-centred practice that seek to protect and activate a person’s human rights. PBS is increasingly the preferred approach of behaviour support in Australia and internationally. In Australia, PBS is the recommended approach for behaviour support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.    

What do you need to know about supported decision making in behaviour support?  

There are many decisions to be made in the behaviour support process, for example, who will be involved, what will happen and how.  

As a service provider, you play a key part in establishing systems and environments that support decision-making during behaviour support. You’re responsible for supervising and supporting support workers. Your role may be as a:  

  • service manager, team leader or supervisor working for a large organisation or agency.  
  • manager or owner of a small service provider.  
  • family member or support person who helps contract self-managed funded or non-funded support workers.  

Although decision supporters (formal and informal) are responsible for supporting people’s decision-making, service managers and organisations play an important part in facilitating the support. 

How you can facilitate supported decision-making in behaviour support

Think about

What changes need to be made to service delivery to meet the NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators under Module 2A.

By providing (and recording) outcomes of supported decision-making in behaviour support helps to meet the Practice Standard outcome of developing behaviour support plans:

  • that maintain and improve the person’s quality of life
  • are personalised and evidence-based and
  • meet their needs.
Female service provider

Establish foundations for decision-making support built on person-centred practice  

  • Ensure people receiving services/supports know how to access support for decision-making. 
  • Embed supported decision-making in everyday service delivery. 
  • Establish a support worker team culture and environment that understands, and practices supported decision-making principles.  

Embed supported decision-making in behaviour support 

  • Develop clear policies about support workers’ roles in supporting decision-making in behaviour support.  

Identify and address barriers to supported decision-making in behaviour support  

  • Seek feedback from people and their supporters (both families and support workers) about their experience of supported decision-making during behaviour support, to shape and improve practice. 
  • Determine if the decision maker’s (and their supporters’) decision-making requirements are fully supported.

Build capability in support staff 

  • Facilitate knowledge and skill development in supported decision-making.  
  • Plan upskilling of support staff in behaviour support.  

Establish service expectations and policies for supported decision-making in behaviour support. 

  • Review and evaluate people’s engagement levels in behaviour support decision-making. 

Identify and addressing barriers in organisational policies to supported decision-making. 

  • Assign adequate staff resources to enable person-centred practices (e.g., adequate resourcing that allows meaningful and consistent time for engagement and relationship building between the person and their decision supporters).
  • Invest in support staff through training and capacity building to strengthen supportive environments.  

Case study continues

In the part 2 you considered how Sharon could facilitate support for Lauren’s decision-making. In this part, you will reflect on opportunities for Sharon to improve her facilitation of Lauren’s decision-making.

Your task

Prepare to complete question 3 of your worksheet as you read through this part.

For a supported decision-making refresher, refer to The person’s right to effective support for decision making resources. To find out more about PBS go to Further Learning and Additional Training in your resources.                         

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Useful worksheets

The following worksheets will assist you:

These worksheets will help guide you through the facilitation process, record your process and reflect on what worked and what needs further improvement.