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WUSF Profiles Positive Behavior Support Program during Mental Health Awareness Month

May is “National Mental Health Awareness Month,” and children’s mental health continues to be a major concern.  Reporter/producer Mark Schreiner from University Beat on WUSF Public Media interviewed CFS faculty Drs. Lise Fox, Mario Hernandez and Don Kincaid about Positive Behavior Support (PBS), an intervention method that professionals are using in over 18-thousand schools to address challenging behavior among children of all ages. Listen Now

University Beat is a radio and television program on WUSF 89.7 FM, WSMR 89.1 and 103.9 FM and WUSF TV that focuses on work and research from the University of South Florida and how it benefits the Tampa Bay area, Florida, and the world around us.


Florida's Positive Behavior Support Project

Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children

About the PBS Program

Florida's Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC) is part of the Department of Child and Family Studies (CFS) of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences at the University of South Florida.  One of the primary initiatives of the FCIC is the area of Positive Behavior Support. 

Through diverse federal, state and local funding streams, faculty from FCIC have been engaged in three decades of leadership research, training, and implementation roles in the design and scaling up of PBS within early childhood and K-12 settings.   

Positive Behavior Support provides a framework for the delivery of promotion, prevention, and intervention efforts aimed at enhancing the social competence of children and youth and effectively addressing challenging behavior. Faculty with FCIC/CFS partnered with faculty from Universities across the country in the design of the framework, data systems and research related to implementation, and how systems (states, schools, and programs) are supported to implement the framework with fidelity.

The PBS framework is being implemented in over 18,000 schools nationwide with notable outcomes including a reduction in office discipline referrals, school suspension and expulsions and increases in school ratings of excellence.  The framework is also being implemented within early care and education programs by 18 states that have statewide initiatives that are focused on addressing challenging behavior in very young children with an emphasis on promoting the social and emotional development and preventing challenging behavior.

This effort has transformed states, early childhood programs, professional development approaches, and the use of data for decision-making within schools and early childhood programs.  Moreover, the early research from this effort led to changes in Federal Policy by adding PBS as a critical intervention component in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 


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