Ethical Approaches to Behaviour Management

James Hourihan, Author

Many professionals who work in a health, social care or education setting sometimes experience conflict with children and adults who display challenging behaviours. This can lead to a great deal of stress, anxiety, and frustration for staff, and impact the wellbeing of those receiving care or support. However, it is important to approach the management of behaviour with an ethical mindset to create an organisational culture based on transparency, trust and respect. 

What are Ethical Approaches?

Ethical approaches refer to a set of values that promote the welfare and rights of individuals receiving support, as well as the preservation of their dignity and autonomy. In the context of behaviour management, this involves minimising the use of restraint, and instead, working collaboratively to understand a person’s needs, identifying triggers of the behaviour and what non-restrictive interventions can be put in place to prevent it.

Why are Ethical Approaches Important?

Ethical approaches to behaviour management are important because they empower staff to make choices that values and respects those being supported. Such principles reduce the use of traditional restrictive practices during critical situations such as seclusion, restraints, and medication – these should be considered as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted.  

Our ethical approaches are trauma-informed, meaning we take into account the widespread emotional and physical impact of a person’s life experiences. Through this, staff are able to recognise the underlying cause of challenging behaviour and look to resolve these issues using a tailored support plan that acts upon an individual’s unique needs and preferences. It also allows people to make decisions about their own care.

Implementing Positive Behaviour Strategies 

Ethical approaches to behaviour management are essential when it comes to reinforcing positive behaviours, teaching new skills, improving communication, providing environmental adaptations, and creating opportunities for better, safer outcomes. Each unique situation gives rise to different considerations, and no two cases are ever the same. It is only through taking the time to forge a relationship with patients, students or service users that staff can understand what each person requires and treat them with dignity and compassion accordingly.

Book a Course 

Creating an ethical working culture requires training, development, and reflective practice. Timian’s certified BILD Act positive behaviour management courses help organisations in the UK and beyond to support people in crisis ethically and confidently, using de-escalation and breakaway techniques based on a training needs analysis. 

Call our team now on 0800 987 4075 for more information or fill in the form on our website here

James Hourihan MSc Econ | FRSA | MIOD


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