PBS, or positive behavioural support, is a framework to promote positive behaviours and reduce behaviours that challenge. At Sussex Empowered Living, we implement PBS practices through a strategy that covers every level of our organisation – from management infrastructure to staff training and day-to-day client support. Recently, Tim Cottrell has taken on the role of PBS Lead in order to build upon and further the success of the current PBS component of Sussex Empowered Living.

With a background in academic psychology and years of experience in the care industry, Tim is specially qualified and the best person to fill this role. By collaborating with other members of staff, Tim has built the PBS role to meet the demands of Sussex Empowered Living’s growing and diverse client base. Previously, staff reflected and strategized on their personal engagement with particular clients, however, through using a PBS strategy, our approach becomes more unified and consistent, thus enriching and improving service user’s care. With the arrival of a new service user who needed more intensive behavioural support, various PBS strategies were utilised until a robust system that met their needs was rolled out. Alongside this, CEO, Nick Hancock, developed an analysis tool which allowed Tim to delve into a far richer and more comprehensive level of analysis.

With Tim at the helm as PBS lead, the recent implementation of a specific PBS strategy has led to service users’ improvement in areas where they have not succeeded in the past. Tim notes, “There has been a reduction in behaviours which challenge for our newest client who has not succeeded elsewhere. By empowering them through fewer restrictions and more choice, this individual is improving in many areas, including personal safety and a drastic reduction in self-harm.”

Staff now have more confidence to respond to behaviours that challenge and by putting the emphasis on proactive strategies, they use successful active responses that have significantly reduced the duration of the behaviours that challenge. Sussex Empowered Living also benefits through having a united approach which reflects our values and promotes the most innovative solutions to behavioural management. Tim’s role as PBS Lead has ensured that we continue to be creative leaders in the supported living industry and that we are always meeting the individual needs of every service user under our care.


More about Tim

Leading the way in positive behaviour support in Brighton, Tim has become an invaluable part of the SEL team. Tim has a BA (First-Class Honours) Psychology and Philosophy (Open University) and an MSc in Experimental Psychology (University of Sussex) and is a trained PROACT-SCIPr-UK® instructor. Tim has also completed the Brighton & Hove Council Positive Behaviour Support Training and will soon start his requirements for a PBS Level 5.

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