Behaviour Intervention Planning
Divisional Supports: Explanation of Critial Component
In this section, use short, one-line statements to identify the roles that divisional/district staff have in supporting the student's program. This includes staff who are primarily school-based such as a teacher, teacher assistant, or principal. Resource teachers and counsellors are often considered to be school-based although some are shared between two or more schools. There are also staff who are hired to provide services on a divisional or district basis. These include clinicians, behaviour consultants, and student service administrators who are involved with the team.
When discussing and determining roles, there are two primary parts to be considered with the child who has emotional/behavioural problems.
- The team needs to discuss specific role functions and expectations that they have of one another in implementing the behaviour intervention plan. The role of the principal or teacher is often clearly defined by their general role functions. However, problems do occur when people make assumptions about what another person will do within their role to deal with specific situations. Sometimes these expectations need to be discussed in advance to reduce later confusion and conflict. Clarification of roles becomes increasingly important when working with team members whose roles are less clearly defined. This includes resource teachers, counsellors, teacher assistants, and clinicians. There needs to be some discussion as to what each team member will do to implement his/her part of the plan. Without this discussion, conflicts can occur around differences in expectations. In some cases there may also be confusion over role boundaries. This is particularly true between teacher assistant and classroom teachers, or clinicians and counsellors. It is valuable to address potential areas of conflict and to keep areas of conflict open for discussion as implementation proceeds.
- The team also needs to consider any role relationships that members will take with the child. Children at different development levels and with atypical life experiences differ in their ability to understand adult roles. Some children with EBD have no clear understanding of roles and respond equally to all people regardless of status or authority. Those who have had severely damaging experiences with adults may become quickly overwhelmed when messages are given in totally authoritarian ways. In this situation, all team members may be asked to balance supportive with directive elements in their interactions with the child, moving between highly supportive and highly directive interactions depending on the emotional state of the child. Other children with EBD have concrete understandings of people and understand roles only in black or white terms. They are confused when faced with people who are both supportive and directive and this confusion triggers their survival strategies.& In this situation, each adult may stick to one primary relationship with the child. For example, a principal may take only an authoritarian role. This could allow another staff person, such as the counsellor, to take a supportive role. This would allow the counsellor to meeting with the child to problem solve difficult situations prior to having the child meet with the principal. The counsellor is "helping" the child prepare to meet with the principal. Other staff may be assigned director, encourager, problem solver, or mentor roles. These stereotyped role relationships are consistent with the EBD child's concrete understanding of the world, and help the child respond to staff with greater comfort.