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Feb 13, 2024

A positive career path for Aaron

Careers News Positive Behavioural Support

I felt my skills were at a level where I could assist more, but I didn’t want to return to managing a disability home.


When he heard about the opportunity for Northcott support workers to train to become positive behaviour support practitioners, the timing couldn’t have been better.

About the traineeship

In February 2021, Aaron and his fellow trainees headed back to the classroom, studying full-time at Northcott to gain their new qualification. The program, which was developed by an internal facilitator and senior members of Northcott’s Behaviour Support team, included interactive workshops, online learning, observation sessions, mentoring and self-directed learning.

Aligned with the NDIS Commission’s capability framework, all aspects of behaviour support were covered, from restrictive practices, policies and procedures through to plan writing and observation skills. Each trainee was also paired with a senior practitioner to observe and work alongside.

“Being in a group and working collaboratively assisted me immensely. Listening to each other’s experiences and being mentored and guided along the way gave me skills and knowledge to take into the complex role.

“The training involved going into homes to observe residents, ask support staff questions and review behaviour support plans. There were also opportunities to observe occupational therapists, speech pathologists and staff working in Northcott’s vocational and life skills services,” Aaron explains.

As the year progressed, the trainees began to take a more hands-on role, assisting experienced practitioners with their caseload and putting their new skills and knowledge into practice.
By mid-year, Aaron was assessed to be “provisionally suitable” to deliver services as a NDIS approved behaviour practitioner and ready to begin his new role!

On the job

“I’m now supporting six residents from our homes and two younger community-based participants, where I am working with teachers and parents. It has been very daunting at times, but also exciting,” Aaron says.

One of the young people Aaron is supporting has been challenging, but equally rewarding. “This teenager has ADHD, mild intellectual disability and presents with a few common behaviours of concern which represent his diagnosis, and are detrimental to his physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Emotional regulation skills and improving his speech and gross motor skills so he can participate in social activities and have the confidence to build and establish peer relationships, have been at the forefront of my work with him,” Aaron says.

“Initially, with a few obstacles, it was challenging, but we’ve got a really good relationship now. Although it’s been a slow burn, I’ve seen progress. Both his mum and school are on board with different approaches,” Aaron explains.
Having been in the role for some time Aaron has reflected on the career change. “I’m getting a lot of satisfaction. I think I’ve got a lot to offer and I enjoy helping and supporting people. There is so much emphasis on behaviours within the disability sector and often the people we support are labelled negatively due to this. I get a great sense of achievement in being an integral part of the process moving forward to eradicate this stigma.

“When you see those little sparkles in a person’s eyes, a smile, a verbal greeting, or a gesture to a picture on their communication board, it’s really satisfying.

“It might be five steps forward, three steps back, but that’s the challenge that I like as well.”

Careers Positive Behavioural Support

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