Behavior management is a term used in educational settings that relates to the tools and techniques that teachers use to help keep their classrooms running smoothly. Behavior management focuses on the actions and conscious inactions that increase the probability that people choose to engage in productive and socially acceptable behavior.
If your child demonstrates behavior issues in school, he/she may be assigned to work with a “behavior specialist” – an individual who can evaluate, design and implement a behavior intervention plan. Behavior specialists help your child be more successful through skill acquisition, positive reinforcements and the reduction of problematic behavior.
You may be asked to work on these skills at home, with your child. In the beginning, it may be difficult and time-consuming to change your child’s behavior. By being proactive and sticking to your child’s behavior plan, your child will begin to understand what behaviors are preferred.
Most school districts in Southern New Jersey either employ a behaviorist or have an agency that they contract with to provide behavioral services. At the request of the Child Study Team, a behaviorist can assist a student by creating a behavioral intervention plan to address any challenging situations that are occurring in school. Behaviorists in school look to help increase compliance with the teacher’s directions or reduce any negative behaviors.
The State of NJ offers no cost in home behavioral and mental health services to eligible families and their school aged children that are funded through Medicaid funding. To access the services, parents or guardians must call Performcare at 877-652-7624 to begin this process. The PerformCare staff will completed an intake over the phone and if needed, will contract with a provider to complete a more comprehensive assessment. If deemed appropriate, the child will be assigned a local CMO (Care Management Organization) worker. Services are reviewed periodically to determine continued need.
There are many private agencies that provide behavioral consultation plus provide social skills groups and in home supports through the school district or the PeformCare systems. These agencies provide Masters Level Behaviorists and direct care professionals to help support the child across many types of settings (i.e. school, home, sports, etc.). A few examples of local agencies are the following: Interactive Kids; First Children Services; Brett DiNovi & Associates; and New Behavioral Network. There are several others that provide similar services.