Promoting principles for supporting the behaviour development in children and young people whilst meeting the Training Support and Development Standards.
In terms of promoting positive relationships and socially aware behaviour the following methods are sometimes useful in supporting behaviour management and working in line with the Training Support and Development Standards:
- Using positive reinforcement strategies;
- Modelling positive behaviour and responses to situations;
- Having an overall positive culture in the setting;
- Creating an environment that promotes positive behaviour;
- Individual behaviour planning;
- Distraction and diversion strategies;
- Boundary setting and collaborative ground rule making;
- Supporting children and young people’s reflection on and managing of own behaviour.
PRE-EMPT RISKY BEHAVIOUR
In some cases working with children and young people involves knowing why a child or young person might actively seek out negative reinforcement through socially unacceptable behaviour. The result of learned behaviour outcomes could include foster carers/child care workers:
- Identifying triggers and how to minimise triggers, e.g. ensure appropriate structure/planning of environment;
- Promoting consistency; familiarity and routine in minimising risk of triggers;
- Promoting clear boundaries or effective communication;
- Ensuring that the child or young person’s needs are being met (as appropriate);
- Working towards attention being gained for positive behaviour and not predominately for negative behaviour;
- Being aware that anxiety impacts on behaviour;
- Being knowledgeable around substance misuse (Training Support and Development Standards 3.3 c);
- Promoting an understanding around the possible impact of abuse, separation and loss on the behaviour of children and young people (Training Support and Development Standard 5.6 c);
- Being aware of how some learning difficulties or mental illness may impact on behaviour.
Given the likelihood that working with children and young people may involve knowing about a range of behaviours presented by children and young people and how to encourage positive behaviour (Training and Support Standard 3.4 b) – foster carers and residential care workers should receive appropriate training and clearly be competent around:
- Promoting the use of proactive and reactive behaviour management strategies
- Responding appropriately to incidents challenging behaviour
- Being able to support individuals and others following an incident of challenging behaviour
- Being able to review and revise approaches to promoting positive behaviour
- Being able to Promote effective personal safety and security strategies to protect yourself, staff and members or your family (Training Support and Development Standards 3.4 a)
Promoting National Minimum Standards
The Fostering National Minimum Standards (2011) section 3.8 states:
|‘All foster carers receive training in positive care and control of children, including training in de-escalating problems and disputes. The fostering service has a clear written policy on managing behaviour, which includes supporting positive behaviour, de-escalation of conflicts and discipline. The fostering service’s policy is made clear to the responsible authority/placing authority, child and parent/s or carers before the placement begins or, in an emergency placement, at the time of the placement’.|
Whilst the Children’s homes quality standards (2015) section 7.18 state:
‘Staff should have the relevant skills and knowledge to be able to help children understand, and where necessary work to change negative behaviours in key areas of health and well-being such as, but not limited to, nutrition and healthy diet, exercise, mental health, sexual relationships, sexual health, contraception and use of legal highs, drugs, alcohol and tobacco’.
The Guide to the Children’s Homes Regulations including the quality standards (April 2015) highlights the following positive relationships standards:
11.—(1) The positive relationships standard is that children are helped to develop, and to benefit from, relationships based on—
(a) mutual respect and trust;
(b) an understanding about acceptable behaviour; and
(c) positive responses to other children and adults.
(2) In particular, the standard in paragraph (1) requires the registered person to ensure—
(a) that staff—
(i) meet each child’s behavioural and emotional needs, as set out in the child’s relevant plans;
(ii) help each child to develop socially aware behaviour;
(iii) encourage each child to take responsibility for the child’s behaviour, in accordance with the child’s age and understanding;
(iv) help each child to develop and practise skills to resolve conflicts positively and without harm to anyone;
(v) communicate to each child expectations about the child’s behaviour and ensure that the child understands those expectations in accordance with the child’s age and understanding;
(vi) help each child to understand, in a way that is appropriate according to the child’s age and understanding, personal, sexual and social relationships, and how those relationships can be supportive or harmful;
(vii) help each child to develop the understanding and skills to recognise or withdraw from a damaging, exploitative or harmful relationship;
(viii) strive to gain each child’s respect and trust;
(ix) understand how children’s previous experiences and present emotions can be communicated through behaviour and have the competence and skills to interpret these and develop positive relationships with children;
(x) are provided with supervision and support to enable them to understand and manage their own feelings and responses to the behaviour and emotions of children, and to help children to do the same;
(xi) de-escalate confrontations with or between children, or potentially violent behaviour by children;
(xii) understand and communicate to children that bullying is unacceptable; and
(xiii) have the skills to recognise incidents or indications of bullying and how to deal with them; and
(b) that each child is encouraged to build and maintain positive relationships with others.
Thus, to promote principles related to supporting the development in children and young people leaders and managers in independent fostering settings will need to promote some of the following Ofsted Framework (2014:sections 36 & 44) requirements for a good grade:
Children and young people looked after take, or are learning to take, responsibility for their behaviour. They are either being helped to reduce any incidents of, or are not, offending, misusing drugs or alcohol, going missing or being sexually exploited. If any such risks are identified, the independent fostering agency takes action, in partnership with the local authority, that reduces the risk and protect the child or young person.
The agency offers placements to children and young people with complex needs and challenging behaviour and provides the necessary specialist support and help for as long as it is required.
In addition, leaders and managers in residential children’s homes settings should ensure they contribute to leading their related organisation in meeting the following Inspections of children’s homes Ofsted good characteristics (December 2015):
Children and young people develop skills and strategies to manage their own conflicts and difficult feelings through developing positive relationships with the staff. There are clear, consistent and appropriate boundaries for children and young people. Adults understand how children’s experiences and present emotions can be communicated through behaviour. They are able to be clear with children and young people about the consequences of difficult and unsafe behaviour and the help and support they may need. Children and young people report that adults are consistent and clear about the management of all behaviour and expectations (53.i).
Under section 57 of the framework for the Inspections of children’s homes Ofsted Inspectors judgements, amongst other factors ,takes account of:
- How well risks are identified, understood and managed and whether the support and care provided help children and young people to become increasingly safe
- The response to children that may go missing or may be at risk of exploitation or self-harm
- How well situations and behaviour are managed by staff and whether clear and consistent boundaries contribute to a feeling of well-being and security for children and young people.