In a sector which has had a significant number of high profile examples of unacceptable service, Bethphage has spent the past twenty years successfully growing high quality person centred service provision. This has been done by involving the people we support, having the very best staff, investing in training and rigorously measuring quality outcomes. We base the way we deliver services and our employment practices on the concepts that underpin Positive Behaviour Support.
We believe our practices as a Positive Behaviour Organisation stand us out as a unique organisation with values, principles and practices which drive our mission to be an excellent provider of services for people with disabilities. We see being a Positive Behaviour Organisation as a process of continuous improvement which means our mission will never be complete as tomorrow’s excellence is always better than today’s and it is our responsibility to strive for greater aspirations and better outcomes for the people we support and for our staff. That is why we talk about becoming a PBO rather than being one.
What is PBO?
We have adopted the term PBO to describe a Positive Behaviour Organisation. The model focuses our expertise and interventions on those who need it most. The idea is that we can have a whole-organisation approach to PBS, with a focus on positive values and expectations of behaviour for everyone involved with the organisation, and additional support for those who need it. While some schools have adopted a “whole-school” approach to PBS (mainly in the United States), to the best of our knowledge we are the first to adopt a “whole-organisation” approach. We use PBS at Bethphage in line with good practice guidance and legislation. Bethphage decided to go a step further, and take a whole-organisation approach to PBS. This means that all our staff have some training in PBS, and we promote the use of proactive approaches (active support, skills teaching, effective communication, reducing triggers and reinforcing positive behaviour) throughout all areas of our work. In addition, we extend the approach to how we work with each other within the organization.
Why is Bethphage becoming a PBO?
We believe that it will increase the quality of life for people supported by, and people working for, Bethphage. It is a principle-based approach. We believe that adopting it will enhance staff skills so that they can develop a more in-depth understanding of the needs of the people they support, and a more proactive approach to supporting those needs. It will also be consistent across the organisation; those same principles will be mirrored in the way staff are supported by their managers and by the organisation.
How does becoming a PBO fit with Bethphage’s core values?
The core values are integral to Bethphage’s status as a PBO, just as values are an essential component of PBS. All within Bethphage aspire to those values, and will receive positive feedback on their behaviour in relation to those values. This will run through the centre of everything we do.
Would becoming a PBO mean that another Winterbourne View could never happen?
We hope it will reduce the possibility even further! Evidence suggests that staff who act in abusive ways are likely to have no ethical framework, inadequate support and guidance, poor or inappropriate training and little or no understanding of the people they support. Our PBO vision aims to ensure that the ethical framework is clear, transparent and recognised right from the beginning of people’s involvement with us, that staff are well supported with regular guidance and feedback on their performance, and that all staff have a good understanding of the factors that can cause behaviours through training and management.