Initial Assessment

On engagement, a Youth Matters Psychologist and Program Supervisor carry out a comprehensive assessment with the client and their caregivers. A needs-based and person-centred, comprehensive behaviour support plan is then developed to identify unique target behaviours of deficit and excess and to leverage and enhance individual strengths and talents.

Youth Matters is committed to developing a range of support models that will meet the many and varied individual needs of their clients who have behaviours of concern and who are seeking needs-based out of home accommodation as well as in-home support options. Our programs are developed after individual assessment and collaborative consultation with family members, guardians, support coordinators, medical and allied health professionals and funding bodies.

Multi-elemental Positive Behaviour Support Plan

Youth Matters Specialist Behaviour Practitioners will develop a comprehensive, multi-elemental, positive behaviour support to address target behaviours of a child or young person that have been identified as socially significant barriers to learning and engaging in meaningful community participation.  Youth Matters practitioners will conduct a functional behaviour assessment to determine meaning and purpose of an individual's behaviour (what is causing and maintaining the behaviour) and will recommend antecedent, environmental and response strategies for target behaviours of concern, as well as provide positive programming and focused support recommendations to increase the individual's skills and quality of life. 

A Positive Behaviour Support Plan should be considered whenever a child or young person’s behaviour:

  • puts their physical safety or emotional well-being at significant risk or causes them actual harm.

  • puts those around them at risk or causes actual harm.

  • is a significant risk to or agreed barrier to the child or young person’s capacity to meet goals related to experiencing social inclusion and participation within their family, school, at home, at work, or within their community in general.

  • is a significant risk, or agreed barrier to, the child or young person’s capacity to learn and develop independence in daily living that could otherwise be achieved.


A Positive Behaviour Support Plan should contain the following core elements:

  • Relevant information pertaining to the child or young person’s history

  • A functional analysis of target behaviours of concern

  • A motivational analysis to identify those events, opportunities and activities that the participant enjoys and may be used to enhance quality of life and provide incentives to increase adaptive behaviour and to enhance academic progress.

  • A mediator analysis to identify those persons who might be responsible for providing behaviour support, their abilities to carry out the recommended support plan, given the demands on time, energy, and the constraints imposed by the specific settings, and motivation and interest in implementing behaviour support services that are recommended.

  • Proactive Strategies (Antecedent Interventions) to (including those that specifically address the individual's environment) to reduce or eliminate critical incidents from occurring so that learning of replacement behaviours can be reinforced

  • Response Strategies for target Behaviours of Concern (BOC) that are based on a Positive Behaviour Support framework and in accordance with the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behaviour Analysts, should antecedent interventions be unsuccessful in eliminating BOCs and enabling learning of replacement behaviours

  • Skills development (Positive Programming) to promote independence in daily living and social/community participation

  • Authorised Restrictive Practices – including schedule for review and estimated time frames for their removal.

  • Appropriate endorsement and consent from parent/guardian.

Positive Behaviour Support

We will develop personalised interventions within a multi-elemental Positive Behaviour Support framework to address participant needs.  Our trained practitioners will work with participants and their care givers at home and/or in the community to help achieve capacity building goals, developmental milestones and to overcome behavioural difficulties.  More information on Positive Behaviour Support can be found here

What is Applied Behaviour Analysis?

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a technique grounded in science that focuses on the use of learning theories to promote socially significant and desirable behaviour.  Scientific research has demonstrated that an individual's skills and abilities can be significantly improved through the application of ABA.

Some of the processes we use at Youth Matters involve:

  • Using functional and behavioural assessments to understand the function of behaviour

  • Identifying behaviours one may like to increase and those they may wish to decrease

  • Establishing measureable goals

  • Identifying the client’s current functional capacity (establishing a baseline)

  • Develop and implement programs to teach new skills and to reduce interfering behaviours

  • Break down tasks into small and teachable units

  • Evaluation and review of the data for data-driven decision making in program development and management

  • Adapt the program to meet the individual's needs and goals and to improve effectiveness via a person-centered approach

  • Provide an enriched environment and learning opportunities to our clients

Research provides evidence that Positive Behaviour Support (an ABA based intervention) is significantly effective in reducing disruptive behaviours that are typically observed in individuals on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, such as self-harm, tantrums, non-compliance and self-stimulation.  There is also scientific evidence that ABA’s is an effective intervention for increasing common deficit skills such as communication, social interaction/relationships, play and self -help skills.