Behavior Management

At Green Chimneys we believe that positive reinforcement creates an environment that fosters growth and development. Positive reinforcement motivates youth by praising or rewarding desired behaviors when they are demonstrated. We see behavioral challenges as opportunities for learning, growth, and change.

Our behavior management practices are founded on established cognitive behavioral theories. We believe learning comes from maintaining clear expectations for behaviors and providing positive reinforcement for those behaviors. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a system that establishes social, emotional, and behavior supports needed to improve social, emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes for all students.

PBIS identifies and teaches positive behavior expectations, acknowledges children and staff for demonstrating those expectations, and implements fair and consistent consequences. Here at Green Chimneys, we implement the use of PBIS to focus on shared core values in all settings across the agency. Our PBIS program is called ROCK, which stands for Respect, Ownership, Communication, and Keep Safe. These values help our youth to develop and demonstrate pro-social healthy and safe behaviors.

Safety is one of the most important components of a therapeutic community.

We use a variety of behavior support techniques that consistently manage the environment safely and effectively. These techniques, along with tools to make informed decisions in crisis situations, are provided for all direct care staff based on the Cornell University Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Curriculum, 6th edition. Staff receives extensive training and refresher sessions in effective de-escalation techniques, our preferred method of management.

Green Chimneys is committed to becoming a restraint-free environment and employs a behavior management system that improves safety and promotes positive behavior. SAFE-T Zones are created to help our young people maximize their full potential while demonstrating safe behaviors. Each Zone encompasses a set of behavioral expectations that reflect the ability of the child to be a safe member of the community and indicates progress on individual treatment goals.

SAFE-T Zones serve not only to prevent children from engaging in destructive or unsafe behaviors but to teach them effective alternative behaviors when faced with difficulties. The system is designed to:

  • Foster a safe environment for all members of the community
  • Reward the display of increasing pro-social behaviors
  • Promote the youth’s active participation in their treatment
  • Encourage healthy emotional management

Treatment team members develop an Individual Crisis Support Plan for each student as a means of coordinating behavior management techniques across the various program areas in a consistent manner. This plan considers the child’s particular history, alerts, age, cognitive functioning and emotional development; provides a guide for crisis intervention that includes preventive measures and physical interventions (if and when necessary); and is designed for all staff working with that child to understand:

  • Specific warnings about particular safety concerns
  • Potential triggers
  • High risk behaviors
  • Specific intervention strategies
  • Their role in providing a unified approach in meeting each child’s needs