A unique new short-term residential service providing positive behaviour interventions for young people aged 13-18 who suffer from emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties, was launched by Kent County Council (KCC) on Thursday 9 July 2020.
“The Nest” is the only facility of its type in the UK and will form part of KCC’s support and delivery of the Transforming Care Programme; a national agenda focussed on reducing the number of individuals in secure support settings to ensure the best and most appropriate support for them available nearer to home.
Developed with partners at Medway Council and the NHS, it is operated by KCC, and provides a new 3-bedroom facility with a 24hr specialist support team for those young people risk of going into, or who are currently in, a secure provision.
It offers a period of positive intervention for a maximum of 10 weeks, where the specialist, multi-disciplinary team, supported by a board certified clinical behavioural analyst, will help young people using a Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) approach. This is widely considered as a sector best practice approach and involves understanding the functions of the behaviours that these young people experience, in order to replace behaviours of concern with socially accepted equivalent behaviours which will help the person to increase their quality of life, and ultimately reduce the likelihood that behaviours of concern will occur.
The PBS approach blends the rights of young people with disabilities with constructive behavioural approaches placing the individual at the centre of their care. It enables support workers to understand when and why certain behaviours are likely, as well as building the capacity and skills of the individual in question to keep the person at the centre of everything we do.
Towards the end of the intervention period, the team will engage with the young person’s home environment to help better understand the functions of the persons behaviours of concern, with an aim to replicate the positive behavioural approaches that have been put in place, so that the new quality of life and interventions are sustainable for them long term – even after they have left the Nest, and therefore the need for any further interventions or a secure placement will be significantly reduced for the individual.
Sue Chandler, KCC Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services said:
“I am extremely proud that KCC is leading the way nationally with this pioneering new service and I am grateful to our partners in the NHS and Medway Council who have assisted in its inception.
“KCC is committed to innovative new ways of working to ensure individuals in the council’s care can remain in their communities where they are far more likely to flourish with the right ongoing support.
“Children and young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties often display challenging behaviour which can ultimately result in a placement in a secure provision. The Nest will give young people who may struggle with day-to-day life, the one-to-one intervention and support they need to develop positive behaviours, maintain relationships and have a healthy and fulfilling life within their community.
“I look forward to seeing many successes and improved lives for our young people as a result.”