A day in the life of Positive Behaviour Support Worker, Dan

Positive Behaviour Support Worker

It’s great to see positive and reciprocal change in staff and the people they are supporting as a result of introducing new ways of listening, communicating and providing support.

Dan is a Positive Behaviour Support Senior Worker. He describes a typical day in the life working at Southdown.

I’m based at Southdown’s head office in Lewes, although I spend three to four days each week in the learning disability service I am working with at the time, which can be from six weeks to six months.

What's the first thing I do on arrival at work? If I’m in the office, I make the all-important round of teas and coffees before checking emails. If I’m in a service, it depends on the shift and the person I am helping to support. It could be anything from supporting someone to go to the cinema or training staff teams in personal safety techniques.

The best thing about my job is meeting so many different people. It’s also great to see positive and reciprocal change in staff and the people they are supporting as a result of introducing new ways of listening, communicating and providing support.

It can be challenging managing the several different roles the position entails, from directly supporting people and modelling best practice, to cross-divisional work such as coordinating the monitoring of restrictive practices and the development of behaviour support plans.

How have I made a difference? A woman who I worked with on my first placement as a positive behaviour support senior worker significantly improved her ability to communicate with staff. This led to greatly reduced levels of frustration, anxiety and challenging behaviour. I helped her support team to identify that she had issues communicating her needs. We then worked together to develop techniques that enabled her to express what she wanted non-verbally. I see the difference Positive Behaviour Support makes to people’s lives every day. It’s something I’m really proud to be a part of.

I’m passionate about enabling people to live their lives how they want to. Outside of work, I’m passionate about outdoor pursuits, in particular trekking, wild camping and rock climbing.

I previously worked as a support worker in one of Southdown’s learning disability services, which received a large amount of support from the Positive Behaviour Support team. I saw first-hand the dramatic effect the approach can have in increasing a person’s quality of life.

My top career tip is never assume you know your career path, it can surprise you.

My professional ambition is that I’d like to complete a further degree in intellectual and developmental disabilities and continue to cement the presence of Positive Behaviour Support across Southdown.

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