Supporting decisions: 1. Who should be in my Behaviour Support team?

Decision 1: Who should be in my Behaviour Support team?

To get a good understanding of what is happening for the person, the practitioner will want to talk to the people involved in their life.

They may ask to talk to the person’s family and friends as well as professionals like teachers, support workers, speech therapists, doctors etc.

It is important that the person is involved in the decision about who is involved in their Behaviour Support team. Involving the person in this decision will help them to feel heard and understand that they play an important part in the process.

You may be worried that the person you support will decide not to involve someone you feel has valuable information to offer. If this is the case the practitioner can raise this with the person and explore this decision further with them. For example, the person might say that they don’t want a specific family member or support worker involved due to a difficult relationship; however, if they need to change the way they provide support, it might be best to have them involved.  

It is the Behaviour Support Practitioner’s responsibility to involve the person in this decision.  They will work with the person to make sure they understand the aim of Positive Behaviour Support is to help them and the people who support them.

The Behaviour Support Practitioner will also help to make sure the people in the person’s Behaviour Support team know about Behaviour Support and will work with them to learn new skills.

The first step in supporting someone with this decision is to ask yourself:

Who should support the person with this decision?

Here are some questions to help you think about whether you are the right supporter for this decision.

  1. Have you asked the person who they want to support them with this decision?
  2. Do you feel you are the best person to support this decision or is there someone else who would be better placed to do this?
  3. Will you be able to give the person the information they need to make the decision without giving them your opinion?
  4. Have you provided them with options in a way they can understand? Think about how the person you support communicates. How do they usually need to have the information given to them so they can make a choice? How will they need information to make this decision?

After thinking about it I decided I was not the best person to support Lily with the decision about who should be involved.  Lily was so angry with me at the time so  I thought it might be best that her sister, who she is very close to, help her think about who she wanted involved. When I asked Lily who she wanted to help her with this decision she chose her sister. I was still able to talk to the practitioner about who I thought should be involved but I went into the other room and paid some bills when Lily talked to the practitioner about what she wanted.

Picture of Cathy

Things the supporter can do to support the person with this decision

When you help someone to think about who they want in their behaviour support team you can help them think about:

  • Who supports and helps them, both paid and unpaid support.
  • Who knows them well and knows what they like and what they do not like?
  • Who do they like and trust?

Watch this video where Sidharth and Rajni talk about how Sidharth chose his circle of support and his support workers.

Using the already completed ‘Circle of Support’ worksheet with the person can help them to visually see the people involved in their lives. It might be a useful tool to help them think about who they want and don’t want involved in their behaviour support team.

The ’Who I want in my Behaviour Support team’ worksheet is a tool to help the person document their decision.

Supporting this decision for people with complex communication

If the person cannot indicate to you or the practitioner who they would like involved in their plan. Think about:

  • Who they like to be around?
  • Who they trust?
  • Who they have a good relationship with?
  • Who knows them and cares for their wellbeing?
  • Who has important information about the person?
  • Is there anyone you think they would not want involved?