We continue to have lots of interest in the PBS Competence Framework, with 4889 page views to date. We know people are particularly interested in the additional resources we are currently developing to help put the competencies into practice. We plan to make these freely available on our BlogSpot this Autumn but in the meantime thought we would give you a flavour of what is to come!
As you will be aware from previous blogs, we have been working with 5 different target groups. In June and July, each group met to review existing PBS and other guidelines and materials, identify gaps, consider current context and decide what kind of resource they felt would be helpful to produce.
Since then we have been busy drafting the proposed resources and have summarised these below.
People with learning disabilities – not surprisingly this group wanted to focus on outcomes of PBS. They said they were not really concerned about what it is and how it is defined, but that they wanted PBS to offer them a good quality of life. In essence this meant they wanted to live somewhere they liked, choose to do things with friends and family in places like everyone else, be treated with respect and kindness, be supported as individuals to develop skills and interests and to be involved in planning and changing their support. Their resource will be an interactive one and will provide a means to help them express their views about these things. It will be very visual and use easy read words. We are going to be road testing this with people with learning disabilities at our next workshop on 26th October.
Service Providers – this group agreed there is lots of guidance already available detailing what services need to do to provide good quality PBS as well as guidance on specific issues such as positive handling. However, there is so much information around best practice, including some recommendations, which have become regulatory requirements, that for smaller organisations in particular it is hard to ensure that all are linked together and embedded into practice. The resource being developed for providers does this work for them: it summarises the key recommendations from those policy guidelines that have been identified by the group as the most important and puts these into a suggested policy framework. Services will be able to use this to help develop organisation-wide policies that embed PBS into practice. Each policy area has key points identified with signposts to relevant documents and guidance. This group meets again in London on 2nd October.
Commissioners – this group reviewed current guidance and again felt that there is plenty of guidance that already exists and that a lot of it is good quality. Yet there are significant barriers and perverse incentives in achieving effective commissioning. We agreed to focus on the areas of commissioning which we felt we could influence immediately. These were resources that front line reviewers of placements could use when monitoring /looking for a placement offering PBS, including:
- Some standard wording about PBS to be included in service specifications,
- Some screening questions which help identify those people who are vulnerable to developing challenging behaviour and who would benefit from a PBS approach from their placement
- A guide to help care managers/social workers look for a good quality PBS service
A further workshop is planned on 17th September.
Direct Support Workers - this group met in Bristol and clearly identified the crucial role they play in the delivery of PBS to the people they work closely with. They wanted a resource, which acknowledges and identifies to others the key role they play in PBS delivery and what support staff need from their organisation in order to effectively deliver this. We will meet up in Bristol again on 29th October.
Parents and Carers – in this workshop we talked at length about how parents/carers can ensure that the service their relative receives is based on good quality PBS. All too frequently they feel they have the “wool pulled over their eyes” by services, who are not really skilled in PBS. Parents and carers want a tool to help them identify what “good” PBS looks like and how they can ask the right questions in order to find this out. In addition they were keen to know how they could increase their own skills through formal and informal training and how to access funding for this. Parents & carers will review the draft resource on 29th September.
All of the groups identified issues around training in PBS as a major concern: availability of training, accessing training, knowing what good training looks like, accreditation, training that is tailored for specific user groups. Whilst we may not be able to address all of these concerns within the resources being developed at this stage, the discussions around training have helped inform some of the ideas that have come about.
Please email us with any comments or questions or simply to let us know how your service is making use of the PBS Competence Framework firstname.lastname@example.org