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Community SupportsPositive Behavior Support in the Community

The Boggs Center provides training and technical assistance to facilitate the development of Person Centered programs that effectively support individuals with challenging behavior in the community.  The Boggs Center supports capacity building efforts of a wide range of agencies funded by the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) and DCF's Children's System of Care (CSOC).  In addition to training staff on how to support individuals with challenging behavior, The Boggs Center provides agencies with technical assistance regarding the development of effective service models to support people with developmental disabilities. 

What is Positive Behavior Support?

Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is an evidence-based practice for addressing issues of problem behavior.  It is an effective strategy in providing behavior support to persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities. PBS is a problem-solving approach that focuses on reducing the frequency of challenging behaviors and improving the quality of life for individuals. The term is often associated with techniques based on a systematic approach to understanding why a behavior makes sense to the individual and the use of interventions that focus on changing antecedents in order to prevent problem behaviors, rather than relying solely on manipulating consequences to manage behavior.  This approach utilizes techniques such as Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) to identify the purpose of behavior and help teams select interventions and individualize supports. See What is Positive Behavior Support fact sheet.

Training on Positive Behavior Support

We offer a number of workshops related to Positive Behavior Support. In order to promote the development of effective developmental disability services and reliable administrative support, Positive Behavior Supports training is recommended for all team members involved the PBS process. While professional development training in Positive Behavior Supports is recommended for all personnel working with individuals who present with challenging behavior, certain coursework is required by DDD. See DDD's Quick Reference Guide to Mandated Staff Training & Professional Development. Workshops are offered in locations throughout the state.


The Boggs Center Technical Assistance 

Along with training, Community Positive Behavior Support team members are available to work with agency staff to build capacity. This may include technical assistance related to Functional Behavior Assessment and support plan development, teaching replacement skills to support adaptive functioning, team building, and other program development efforts in the following areas:

    • Conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment, interpreting data, choosing tools
    • Development or adaptation of more effective and proactive Positive Behavior Support plans
    • Making environmental accommodations
    • Teaching new skills to replace problem behaviors
    • Assessment of program needs
    • Development of resources to support programs that address challenging behavior
    • Staff training and behaviorist professional development (training sessions for new behaviorists, on-going workshops to mentor behaviorists and facilitate behaviorist networking)

Project Directors: Deborah Spitalnik, PhD, Colleen McLaughlin
Project Faculty & Staff:
Melissa Cheplic, Renee Rodkey, Phil Smith


Please contact with questions or requests for technical assistance.


The Boggs Center also provides training and technical assistance in educational settings. View Positive Behavior Support in Schools.


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