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Implementing Pbs Systems of Care

Essay by   •  July 16, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  997 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,228 Views

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During the last ten years, educators have looked to combine services with education for children with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). In an attempt to better serve those children and their families, it makes sense to try and have the school system be the place to provide for the needs of children with disabilities. This way, families don't have to seek out services for their children they don't even know that they need, much less know how to find or fund. Educators do not feel helpless knowing that they are part of a team of service providers, and they can take their concerns to the greater team. Community services that are necessities for children with disabilities do not feel disconnected from schools where those children spend most of their time. In short, everyone working together for the good of the child is both more efficient and more effective.

This idea is wonderful, but one wonders how to get all the educators and community service representatives to buy into the concept. For starters, it is difficult to buy into any idea without some knowledge of it first. Those who first heard the news of the Wright brothers must've been skeptical until they understood more about the physics of flight. Teachers, administrators, service providers, and specialists must know enough about positive behavior supports (PBS) to feel they can support it. The first step in implementation of any PBS system of care is to train all those who will take part in that system. As far as schools are concerned, that means training the teachers, administrators, and (to a lesser extent) the school board. With the exception of the school board, training should not be limited to inservice or workshops. Freeman et al. (2005) point out that clinical training in a host system is very effective in training educators in the finer points of PBS.

One successful resource for professionals in Kansas seeking to learn about PBS is the Kansas Institute for Positive Behavior Support (Freeman et al., 2005). Through a series of online courses, field-based experiences, and development of a case study portfolio, professionals learn about the techniques and practices associated with PBS and systems of care. These individuals may then go back to their own organizations and serve as mentors (Freeman et al., 2005). In the case of school district, the district might send one specialist to be fully educated at the Kansas Institute and they can come and work to train educators in their district. With the assistance of their mentor/specialist, trained educators can then go into their home schools and train their fellow teachers, administrators, etc. This way, schools can implement systems of care with the confidence that all educators will understand what the system is and how to operate within the system.

Another extremely important piece to consider when implementing a system of care is the students the school will be serving. The system of care at a school for children with auditory impairments will be very different from the system of care implemented at a juvenile justice alternative educational facility. Educators should need to assess student academic performance, common behavioral problems, families' perception of service providers and schools, poverty levels, and eligibility for special education services

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