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Training and resources for professionals

Positive Behaviour Support Guidance

We are committed to providing learning environments that promote positive behaviour and relationships where children and adults treat each other with care and respect.

What is Positive Behaviour Support (PBS)?

Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) is person-centred way of working that aims to improve a person’s quality of life. It is a way of working and supporting the person who may at times display behaviours of concern that could challenge others or limit their own opportunities.

Behaviours that challenge always happen for a reason and might be the only way a person can communicate – it can arise for differing reasons that are personal to the individual.

It is important that all are supported to have the right skills and knowledge to use this approach and we hope that these resources will help people to understand the benefits of using Positive Behavioural Support.

PBS Animation – A six-minute animation that summarises PBS

For an ‘introduction to PBS’ video from the British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD) click here

It involves:

  • understanding the reasons for behaviours which challenge
  • assessing the broad social and physical context in which the behaviour occurs – including the person’s life history, physical and mental health, and the impact of any traumatic life events
  • planning and implementing ways of supporting the person which enhance quality of life for both the person themselves and their carers.

It focuses on creating physical and social environments that are supportive and capable of meeting people’s needs, and teaching people new skills to replace the behaviours that challenge.

Plymouth PBS Network provides resources, training and informative links plus offers support and regular meetings.  The Devon PBS Network is in its infancy and the aim is to merge with Plymouth PBS to become the South West PBS.

More information on the Plymouth PBS is available here.

Everyone responsible for, or working with, children and young people in any setting across Devon should review their setting against the ‘Positive Behaviour Support Guidance’ and ensure that they are complying with statutory regulations.

The guidance refers specifically to residential children homes (including homes for children with additional needs), secure children’s homes, alternative providers and special schools (including Independent Specialist Providers), but the principles will apply to all settings whether the provision is in-house to Devon County Council or externally commissioned. It refers to children and young people under the age of 18 years old as defined in the Children Act 1989 and to a person aged 18 or over if they are accommodated in a children’s home as defined in Children Homes (England) Regulations 2015.


If you are concerned that a child is being abused, or to request support, you can:

Call 0345 155 1071

Complete the request for support online form

If it’s an emergency call 999