Advice and strategies around managing children with challenging behaviour

All children/young people who exhibit challenging behaviour have a right to appropriate behaviour support and management plans as part of their risk assessment. These should include a range of positive behaviour strategies developing on a three-part gradient.


These include: enabling the individual to develop socially acceptable behaviours to achieve objectives. This can act as alternatives to challenging behaviour. To be effective, such strategies need to be maintained over a long period of time.


These include defusing and distraction strategies, enabling staff to manage and de-escalate the target behaviour in an appropriate and individualised way.


These include environmental change or sanctions, breakaway techniques and the use of restrictive physical interventions where necessary.

In exceptional circumstances, the third level reactive strategies could involve the use of reactive restrictive physical interventions, sometimes referred to as positive handling. 

Where physical interventions are employed to reduce risk, they must be reasonable and lawful. All staff are accountable for their own actions and aware of local policy, positive handling guidance and the law. The service manager must also ensure that all staff are aware of Children’s Services Authority policy.

Please find below the risk assessment forms:

Proforma A

Proforma B

Proforma C

Proforma D