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When Worlds Collide: Implementing PBS across Multidisciplinary Residential Settings. C. Michael Nelson, Ed.D . National Technical Assistance Center for PBIS Kristine Jolivette , Ph.D. Georgia State University. Advanced Organizer.

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when worlds collide implementing pbs across multidisciplinary residential settings

When Worlds Collide: Implementing PBS across Multidisciplinary Residential Settings

C. Michael Nelson, Ed.D.

National Technical Assistance Center for PBIS

Kristine Jolivette, Ph.D.

Georgia State University

advanced organizer
Advanced Organizer
  • Overview: History and Rationale√ Definition of multidisciplinary residential settings
  • Characteristics & needs of institutionalized youth√ Review of national PBS outcome research√ Rationale for using PBS in residential settings
  • Implementation Fidelity in Residential Settings

√ Procedures

√ Adaptations for residential settings

  • Exemplar in residential setting
definition of multidisciplinary residential setting
Definition of Multidisciplinary Residential Setting
  • Any 24/7 facility
  • Facilities with multiple systems
    • Education
    • Security
    • Mental health/counseling
    • Vocation
    • Recreation
  • Facilities with transient youth
    • Public/private residential facilities
    • Juvenile justice facilities (short- and long-term)
youth in juvenile corrections
Youth in Juvenile Corrections
  • Characteristics that relate to behavior:
    • Special education classification
    • Mental disorders
    • Drug and alcohol abuse
    • History of abuse, neglect, and witnessing violence

J. Gagnon, 2008

  • Why do these troubled and disabled youth end up in the juvenile justice system?
  • When do their problems first emerge?
  • What role do social institutions (family services, early childhood programs, schools, juvenile delinquency programs) play in either addressing or exacerbating these problems?
outcomes of pbs
Outcomes of PBS
  • Reductions in:
    • discipline referral rates by 50% to 60% (Horner, Sugai, & Todd, 2001);
    • office discipline referrals (Lane & Menzies, 2003);
    • fighting (McCurdy, Mannella, & Eldridge, 2003);
    • in-school suspension (Scott, 2001);
    • classroom disruption (Lohrmann & Talerico, 2004; Newcomer & Lewis, 2004); and
    • negative student-adult interactions (Clarke, Worcester, Dunlap, Murray, & Bradely-Klug, 2002)
  • Increases in:
    • academic achievement (Luiselli, Putnam, Handler, & Feinberg, 2005; Horner et al., 2009) and
    • perceived school safety (Horner et al., 2009)
how juvenile justice works
How Juvenile Justice “Works”
  • Incarceration PLUS punishment
  • Successful completion of “treatment” plans require high levels of literacy skills
  • Release is contingent upon progress through the treatment plan
  • Education is an add-on
covariate adjusted mean recidivism effect sizes for intervention philosophies lipsey 2009
Covariate adjusted mean recidivism effect sizes forintervention philosophies (Lipsey, 2009)
why pbs in secure facilities
Why PBS in Secure Facilities?
  • Effective and efficient alternative to harsh, inconsistent, and ineffective disciplinary methods in public schools
  • Discipline in many secure facilities is often harsh and harmful
    • punishment mentality
    • inconsistency among staff
  • Decisions about discipline not linked to data on youth behavior
pbs links to these settings
PBS – Links to These Settings
  • Two youth development principles
    • Appropriate Structure
      • Predictable routines, rules, and expectations
      • Consistent implementation of supports by staff linked to positive expectations
    • Positive Social Norms
      • Teaching and modeling of appropriate, expected behaviors
      • Reinforcement for displaying these behaviors
          • National Council on Disability (2003)
  • Incorporation of evidence-based interventions
    • Comprehensive -Durable
    • Relevant - PositiveK. Jolivette, 2009
call for action
Call for Action
  • National Council on Disability (2003) call for PBS in JJ
  • Researchers call for PBS extension to AE, Residential, and JJ settings
      • (Houchins, Jolivette, Wessendorf, McGlynn, & Nelson, 2005; Nelson, Sugai, & Smith, 2005; Scott, Nelson, Liaupsin, Jolivette, Christle, & Riney, 2001)
  • Limited experimental studies implementing PBS in AE, residential, or JJ settings
    • Unknown application in residential settings
    • NM & NC implementing PBS in all JJ educational settings
    • TX passed legislation for state-wide implementation
    • AL, ID, MA, VT considering PBS for JJ
    • CA, IA, IL, OR, WA—PBS in at least one JJ facility
    • KY beginning pilot in one facility
      • (National Center on the Education of Children who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk, 2007)
obstacles and opportunities
Obstacles and Opportunities
  • Belief that incarceration shouldn’t be “positive”
  • Use of complex, multi-level “treatment” curricula
  • Failure to systematically collect or use behavior data for decision-making
  • Lack of staff communication across disciplines--no mandate or precedent
obstacles and opportunities cont
Obstacles and Opportunities (cont.)
  • Staff turnover
  • •Youth turnover
  • Lack of time for training, collaboration
  • No history of or interest in collaboration
  • Disproportionate number of youth with disabilities, lacking literacy skills, significant mental health problems
  • Others?
School-wide Positive

Behavior Support



Setting Systems


Setting Systems

Individual Student





Behavior Support

Systems in Residential Facilities

Individual Youth

Housing Units

Education Program

Other Programs

Facility-wide Systems

Tertiary Prevention:

Multiple discipline reports per month






Secondary Prevention:

2-5 discipline reports per month


Primary Prevention:

1 or 0 discipline reports per month

~80% of Youth

Iowa Juvenile Home

Continuum of


Positive Behavior






~ 23%

Secondary Prevention


Primary Prevention

current status
Current Status
  • Residential Schools/Facilities
    • 24-hour monitoring of social, emotional, educational needs; involuntary enrollment (Gagnon & Leone, 2005)
    • 13% enrollment increase among students with EBD in past 10 years
    • ½ to ¾ total population receive special education services under EBD
    • Program philosophy: Behavioral (53%), Psychoeducational (28%)(Gagnon & Leone, 2005)
    • Students: high prevalence of mental health diagnoses, minorities, anti-social behaviors
the team needs to
The Team Needs to …
  • Look at global considerations
  • Look at possible systems, data, and practice issues
considerations for the facility
Considerations for the Facility
  • Level of Support
    • How much? (initial training plus follow-up)
    • How configured? (all staff at one time or by individual systems)
    • By whom? (university/local personnel, different based on staff)
  • Staff Issues
    • Fusing of different philosophies and educational backgrounds
    • Attitude (negativity, “catching youth being bad”)
    • Securing buy-in (how so across all staff)
  • Logistics
    • Time (release time, reconfiguration of duties)
    • Staffing (will it look different, impact on facility)
    • Resources (SWIS, research articles, behavioral strategies)
  • Financial
    • Training costs (substitute teachers, more security)
    • Reinforcement (youth versus staff)
systems issues
Systems Issues
  • Who would constitute a leadership team
    • Facility and non-facility participants
  • Disconnect between residential systems and staff
    • Educational,Housing unit,Security, Mental health, Recreation
  • Competing priorities
    • Safety first everything else second
  • Hierarchies and politics within and across systems
    • Power, History, Resource allocation
data issues
Data Issues
  • Different types of and reporting mechanisms for data collected
    • Anecdotal, frequency, duration, daily, weekly, monthly, semester reports
  • Limited sharing of data
    • Across staff within and outside of systems
  • “Big Picture” of what is going on often missing
    • Disconnect between 24/7 events (morning, school, lunch, after-school, afternoon, evening, nighttime)
practice issues
Practice Issues
  • “Saboteurs”
    • Lack of “buy-in” by ALL staff across systems
  • Use of non-scientific strategies, interventions, and curricula
    • Lack of “knowing” or time to investigate/staying with current practices
  • Differential & low expectations of youth
    • Lack of administrative and staff consensus on strategies/interventions
    • Expectations change dependent on the environment, staff, time of day, etc.
    • Trying to catch youth being “bad” (punishment focus)
residential facility demographics
Residential Facility Demographics
  • Residential School
    • For students with severe EBD referred by schools, mental health agencies, and the courts
    • 1 – 12 grades
    • ½ Year 1 = 75 students; Year 2 = 75 students
    • 11 teachers and 1 staff person per class
  • Residential Units
    • 8 units; 2-3 staff per shift
    • Students on-site 24 hours, 7 days a week
    • Students eat lunch on the units
As a Team – you …

But you HAVE to for Residential settings!!!!!!

residential school unit wide expectations
Show Respect

Take Responsibility

Accept Adult Directions

Respond Appropriately

I have proven I am a star

because I can:

E&S Staff saw it all!

Residential School/Unit-wide Expectations
  • Be a STAR
    • Show respect
    • Take responsibility
    • Accept adult directions
    • Respond appropriately
sample school student rft
Sample School Student Rft.
  • 5-10 S.T.A.R.s Pens or pencil; One night homework pass
  • 11-12 S.T.A.R.s 30 minutes of computer access; Word search book puzzle
  • 21-30 S.T.A.R.s Leisure books; Teacher helper; Library helper; KidzClub access
  • 31-40 S.T.A.R.s Blockbuster gift certificate; S.T.A.R store helper; On-campus lunch with staff of your choice
  • 41-50 S.T.A.R.s Movie pass; Bike ride with staff; Garden time with staff
  • 51+ S.T.A.R.s Off-campus movie with staff; Off-campus lunch with staff; Picnic in the park with staff
sample housing student rft
Sample Housing Student Rft.
  • 1-5 S.T.A.R.s Pens or pencils, General school supplies, Candy
  • 6-10 S.T.A.R.s 15 minutes of computer access, Journals, Crayons
  • 11-20 S.T.A.R.sBlockbuster gift certificate, On-campus lunch with staff
  • 21-30 S.T.A.R.s Mr. Bill’s helper, Art project with art teacher, Picnic in the park with staff
  • School – Year 1 - 2 38% decrease in ODRs
  • School – Year 1 – 3 42% decrease in ODRS
  • Housing – Baseline – Year 1 30% decrease in behavioral incidents
  • Housing – Baseline – Year 2 35% decrease in behavioral incidents
  • Currently, lower numbers of ODRs and incidents
  • SET – for the school setting continues to be above minimum 80/80
focus groups
Focus Groups
  • Staff (teachers and unit supervisors) themes
    • Promotes positive behavior management
    • Incentives help with motivation
    • Improved short- and long-term behavior
    • Implementation suggestions (materials, STAR store, consistency
  • Student themes
    • Fosters transition to less restrictive level of care
    • Improvement in daily lives
    • Improved motivation
* Individual functional behavior assessments and intervention plans

* 1:1 therapeutic interventions

* Medical or mental health crises

* Check in/Check out

* Choice-making

* Focused positive praise

* Intensive academic supports

* Targeted group therapy

* S.T.A.R.S program

* Evidence-based interventions implemented with fidelity

lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Facility systems not interested at same time
    • School first then units
  • Disconnected data sources
    • No baseline school data available, units used own system
  • 24/7 concept a challenge
    • Staff turnover
      • Training, buy-in, implementation, fidelity
  • Secondary and tertiary interventions a challenge
    • For the units
want to implement
Want to implement?
  • “Leadership team to actively coordinate implementation efforts
  • An organizational umbrella composed of adequate funding, broad visibility, and consistent political support,
  • A foundation for sustained and broad scale implementation - those who can coach implementation and train on specific practices,
  • A system of ongoing evaluation and provision of performance-based feedback to implementers, and
  • Small group of sites that demonstrate viability”
        • Nelson, Sprague, Jolivette, Smith, & Tobin, 2009, p. 488
words from the field
Words from the Field
  • Start small
  • Obtain endorsement & support at the state level
  • Link to an ongoing statewide PBS or related initiative
  • Adapt a data collection & decision model
  • Incorporate PBS into an existing treatment or discipline model, if compatible
        • Nelson, Sprague, Jolivette, Smith, & Tobin, 2009

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