Maryland Positive Behavior Support Training
Build a Strong Tier 1 Foundation
Core features of tier 1 supports help establish a positive, and predictable environment for everyone in the home, work, or community setting where it is implemented. Tier 1 strategies include using person-centered practices as a way to create positive social interactions and prevent challenging behaviors from occurring by responding to problems in a consistent manner. Tier 1 strategies are used to:
- Identify important values and routines,
- Encourage staff and people supported to learn and social skills, and
- Recognize and reinforce the positive social interactions that occur.
Adapted from Freeman, R., et al. (2021). Department of Human Services training on organization-wide person-centered practices and positive behavior support. University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration: Minneapolis, MN.
Organizations using positive behavior support start by creating a team to organize their work. One way to begin is to start small and pilot tier 1 strategies in one location or setting. An example of an activity that can be used to create a common set of values linked to everyday routines is called the “matrix.” For example, two roommates recently moved into in a home together and used their weekly check in meeting to talk about the values that they felt were important. Both women were active in volunteering in their community and valued helping others. The two women agreed that respect, kindness, helpfulness, and good communication were values they felt were important. Together, the women made a simple list of the social behaviors they felt showed respect, kindness, helpfulness, and effective communication. You can see in the visual on this page that these women decided to highlight activities that often require collaboration as roommates. The staff working at the home worked with the two women to create opportunities to practice these skills and helped to create lesson plans for practicing new skills.
- Ask people to brainstorm a list of values that are most important to them
- List the routines and settings where these values are needed
- Vote on 3 to 5 most popular values and make a list of the settings or routines where these values will be observed
- Define what the social behaviors look like that show each value in each setting or routine
- Create lessons plans and ways to teach, practice, prompt behaviors
- Design a way to recognize, reinforce, and celebrate when social behaviors are aligned with values
The visual below is an example of a plan for training.
The matrix can also be used by staff and others to create a positive place to work. A county team in Minnesota discussed how to increase person-centered practices and cultural responsiveness during meetings. In these county team meetings, each member was asked to share positive examples of person-centered language, respect for others, and appreciation of culture. The team worked to increase awareness and celebrate when positive examples occurred during meetings. The table below shows how the team organized their person-centered values and the types of actions that reflect their values. The first column describes the values: use person-centered language, show your respect for people, and demonstrate appreciation of culture. The team set aside time after the meeting to talk about and give people positive feedback when when these actions were observed.
At the Beginning of a Meeting
While Sharing a Person's Information
Supporting Other Team Members
Use Person-Centered (PC) Language
Use PC Language in Documents (Emails, Handouts)
Provide Reminders Before Meeting (Be Sensitive to the Use of Acronyms)
Be Receptive and Aware of Language Used
Celebrate Use of PC Language as Team
Show Your Respect for People
Use Active Listening During Conversation
Attend Meetings on Time
Place Cell Phones on Vibrate
Share Only the Information Needed
Provide Feedback to Others
Listen to Others and Ask if Feedback is Invited
Demonstrate Appreciation of Culture
Review Plans and Discuss Roles of Identity & Culture
Review Possible Cultural Bias and Assumptions
Share Thoughts on the Role of Culture in Person's Life
Discuss How Culture Can be Incorporated Into a Plan