What is a Support Plan?

A support plan is a great tool for caregivers when trying to support an individual in reaching their goals and trying sort out why certain behaviours are happening and what can be done about it. It is the “action” part of an intervention that provides the family with tangible steps in unraveling difficult transactions and behaviours at home and in the community.

There are two kinds of support plans that can be developed for children, youth & adults. A Positive Support Plan is for children under the age of 16 and a Personal Development Plan is for youth & adults over the age of 16.

A support plan may include a behavioural plan of intervention which is designed for a specific individual that focuses on identifying areas where the individual needs intervention and breaking down the intervention into manageable steps to reach short term and long term goals.

The plan addresses what is important and attainable for the specific individual. Initially a baseline is needed that shows “where the person is now” and looks towards “where we want to go.”

This plan is a “roadmap” that outlines how intervention will proceed and how we can get there. A support plan is always changing and adapting with the needs and accomplishments of the individual.

Although a support plan is created for a specific individual, it will most likely include important actions and recommendations for caregivers and other important individual’s in the child’s life.

A plan can include but is not limited to:

  • Specific short term and long term goals
  • Input from caregivers and other specific professionals, as appropriate
  • Specific teaching strategies or methods to be used to achieve each goal
  • Use of ongoing data collection or communication to monitor the individual’s progress and make adjustments to the program based on this information
  • Use of a functional approach to challenging behaviour that identifies what is triggering and maintaining the behaviour
  • Identifies team members and their responsibilities to ensure collaboration, communication, and accountability
  • List dates for regular review and updating of the plan, based on the individual’s needs
  • Include strategies for generalization and maintenance of acquired skills across different environments and ensure that these are regularly addressed, monitored, and updated
  • Identify required equipment if needed.