What is challenging behaviour?

Individuals with various disabilities and complex needs may, at times, exhibit physically and/or verbally aggressive and/or self-injurious behaviour.

How can we help?

Many of the people we support that display challenging behaviours have endured a number of placement breakdowns and hospital admissions before choosing us.  The Safehouse appropriately safeguards people with complex emotional and behavioural difficulties whilst supporting them to exercise full choice and control using pro-active and positive means of managing behaviours that challenge, including diligent risk management. We use clear, multi-agency risk assessments and strategies and high levels of supervision, where required, to facilitate inclusion.


The Safehouse believes that all behaviour is meaningful and a form of communication. Positive behaviour is most likely to occur if a person has a good quality of life and can:

  • Communicate their basic needs, choices and preferences
  • Do enough of the right type of activities for them
  • Have quality relationships with friends, family and support staff
  • Maintain good health and lifestyle
  • Work towards and achieve aspirations
  • Develop new skills and independence
  • Have a living environment that meets their physical, sensory and social needs
  • Reduce restrictive interventions including physical interventions and psychotropic medications


Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) is a multi-component framework that aims to increase a person’s quality of life and reduce behaviours that challenge.


PBS combines a person centred approach and values base with in-depth functional behaviour assessment. The Safehouse is committed to working with the individual, their family, staff that support the person and other professionals to understand the person’s behaviour and to provide excellent quality evidence based support designed to prevent behaviours that may challenge and enhance opportunities for the person to achieve and develop skills (e.g. communication skills, coping skills and life skills).


The Safehouse has a whole organisation approach to PBS, to guarantee skilled support teams and

ensuring people are supported by skilled and competent staff.

Positive Behaviour Support Team

The Safehouse has a PBS team consisting of:


  • PBS practitioners who are responsible for completing functional assessments, working in partnership with services and families to write comprehensive PBS plans and provide training, advice and support.
  • Dedicated forensic and mental health practitioner who provides support for people who have more
  • significant mental health difficulties and may be of risk of contact with the criminal justice system.
  • Service Support Team (SST) work alongside the PBS team to role model good practice. SST work on shift with staff teams to make sure the implementation of behaviour plans are consistent and constant.
  • SST team are specialist trained, enabling them to give specialist support to staff teams.