Plus is a life skills day program in Sydney for people with complex behaviours – focused on positive behaviour support.
Too often, we see people with complex behaviour support needs put in the “too hard” basket. However, over ten years’ service delivery experience has shown us that by redesigning and tailoring supports, we can support this group of people to develop their skills and reach their goals.
Who Plus is for
Our participants are unique individuals with different skills, interests and challenges in their lives. Our staff get to know participants as individuals first and foremost and work to understand the reason for their behaviours, rather than solely focusing on the behaviours themselves.
Many of the people we work with have been rejected from every other service. If you haven’t yet found a place for your person, where they feel a sense of belonging, and are valued for who they are as an individual, please get in touch with us.
“Finally we have found a place, post school, where Lili really belongs! She is forming friendships, socialising, learning new skills and exploring her community. Her days are interesting, active and happy.” – mum of Plus participant Lili.
What Plus does differently
We have the environmental and staffing supports to ensure that participants are safe and engaged, can develop life skills in daily living, health and wellbeing, work and community participation, and improve their quality of life.
Integrated therapeutic supports
At Plus, participants can access therapeutic services in the same place as their day program – a place they feel welcome and secure – as part of their routine, in a more integrated, seamless way.
Positive behaviour support for quality of life
Plus has a dedicated positive behaviour support coordination service as part of the day program. This service interprets participants’ behaviour support plans for the Plus context and ensures staff are fully trained on individuals’ proactive and crisis management strategies. Specialised, integrated behaviour support allows participants to engage more fully and freely in the community and improve their quality of life across measures such as choice and control, happiness, social relationships and feeling supported and safe.
Our impact so far
When Lindsey first arrived at Plus, he was withdrawn, and spent all his time in a dedicated room the team had set up for him. It was a space just for Lindsey, so that he could feel safe. He would venture out maybe once a week. Over time, this grew to multiple times a day. Lindsey increased his engagement with other people, his tolerance of movement and sound, and joined in with skill development activities.
Lindsey’s Behaviour Support Lead at Plus, a team leader in the life skills development stream, says: “The great thing about the program is that we can tailor it to the individual. It allows for varying levels of engagement, and we can progress slowly (when needed) to make someone feel comfortable. For Lindsey, this has enabled him to settle in and build up tolerance to tasks, whilst developing his skills and growing in confidence.”
Lisa, Lindsey’s mum, appreciates the effort that Tom and his team put into getting to know Lindsey and personalising his activities.
“I’m very happy with Plus and how they are moulding his program to his current needs. They know his triggers, weaknesses and strengths, when to go with the flow, or give him a little nudge. Lindsey is happy with them and responding well. It’s reassuring having that connection.”
Last month, Lindsey accomplished a major milestone. He made a permanent move out of his dedicated room, leaving it behind to join the bustle of the communal areas. For Lisa, this is a clear sign of the progress Lindsey has made.
“He has come into a different behavioural chapter. He shows elevated maturity around how he handles himself, and is able to self regulate better. He is seeking more interaction. I’m so proud of him.”
Lindsey’s increasing confidence at Plus is mirrored across the board. Plus’ Strategic Development Manager, Stacy Slavin says,
“Since launching the brand new Plus, we have seen a reduction in overall incidents, reportable incidents and in the need for restrictive practices. This improvement is a direct result of the Plus environment: the supportive staff highly trained in positive behaviour support, the space itself, and the welcoming, reassuring atmosphere.”