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Managing challenging behaviours
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Managing challenging behaviours


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  • This presentation is adapted from the training program used state wide for Foster Carers and potential foster carers. Before you care for a child or young person in Foster care it is critical that you speak to the carer to determine the appropriate responses that are consistent with the strategies identified by the care team.
  • This diagram shows that a stressful situation or incident results in a child or young person feeling strong emotions. The child or young person then expresses these emotions in action, which may include some challenging behaviours.To effectively deal with challenging behaviours, we must be able to see and help the child or young person to deal with the emotions that lie beneath the behaviour.
  • A child or young person who has experienced abuse may be difficult to care for. They may exhibit these behaviours. These behaviours can be difficult to deal with and can lead to reject them or to re-abuse them until those people understand the problems.
  • Remember, the first reaction is frequently not the best reaction. Take five and think before you respond.
  • These behaviours can threaten a placement, alienate the child or young person and reinforce an experience of abuse.
  • The carers of a “difficult to manage” child or young person need to be able to give him or her consistent guidelines while remaining sensitive to his or her own feelings and need for self-esteem.If in doubt talk to the carer or St.Lukes worker to get their ideas.
  • Children and young people do not need saints to care for them. They need real people who recognise their own needs and can get those needs met. Children and young people need carers who can reflect, change and grow. This includes the ability to acknowledge their own mistakes and to say sorry.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Friends of Foster care
      Responding to Challenging Behaviours
      This presentation has been adapted from “Shared Stories, Shared Lives: A course for foster parents and potential foster parents.“(Dept. Human Services 2006)
    • 2. Understanding Challenging Behaviour
    • 3. Behaviours that can be difficult to deal with:
      • Withdraw or cry easily
      • 4. Be easily exhausted or vey excited
      • 5. Try to control people
      • 6. Cling to everyone and anyone
      • 7. Be destructive or aggressive
      • 8. Be self-destructive
      • 9. Be a loner
      • 10. Feel powerless or worthless
      • 11. Resent all rules be generally argumentative
      • 12. Be scared of authority
      • 13. Be unwilling to share
      • 14. Insist that everything be perfect
      • 15. Be very afraid
      • 16. Distort reality
      • 17. Take a hoard food even when there’s plenty available
      • 18. Find it difficult to show affection
      • 19. Have problems relating to children their own age
      Adapted from Barnados’ Foster carers training kit.
    • 20. Managing Challenging Behaviour
    • 21. When managing behaviour DON’T
      Use physical punishment. This teaches the child or young person to control through force and to deal with his or her anger by resorting to hitting others
      Make derogatory remarks about the child or young person, his or her parents, relatives and cultural heritage or religion
      Make threats about the security or length of placement
      Withhold food or meals
      Deny visits to parents, siblings and relatives
      Be verbally abusive
      Use public humiliation
      Participate in activities designed to humiliate a child or young person, to place the child or young person in an unsafe environment, or produce terror or fear.
      Lock the child or young person in their room
      Use force or threats to elicit ‘good’ behaviour.
    • 22. Ways to help children and young people to change their behaviour
      • Listen to the child or young person
      • 23. Be consistent
      • 24. Praise
      • 25. Use “time in’s”
      • 26. Have realistic, age-appropriate goals and expectations
      • 27. Help older children and young people to articulate what they want and how it might be achieved.
      What other strategies can you think of? Add them to the discussion forum.
    • 28. When a carer feels pushed too far...
      What sorts of behaviours from children or young people pushes your buttons?
      Why does this behaviour annoy or upset you?
      How will you respond to behaviour that really challenges you?
      What can assist you in making an appropriate response?
      Respond to these questions in the discussion forum.