Helping Children Across Kansas

Matt Enyart and Kris Matthews recently spent 18 months traveling the state to train mental health professionals in Positive Behavior Support (PBS). Now, the two University of Kansas researchers are delivering a “PBS-to-Go Box” to 21 community mental health centers so practitioners can help children across Kansas.

PBS is an evidence-based practice that changes behavior and the environment where it happens — in this case, the challenging behavior of high-risk, high-needs kids who often end up in psychiatric residential treatment facilities.

“These kids bounce between systems,” Enyart said. “How these systems respond to the children’s behavior differs widely. This project establishes a common intervention and language.”

The PBS-to-Go Box includes reference materials, iPads, laptops, printers and projectors — critical technology for practices such as videotaping a child’s behavior for online collaboration with a PBS professional.

“Our objective is building positive healthy communities,” Matthews said, “and we’ve begun connecting the dots between systems and identifying practitioners who will advance this vision with the resources and practice we’ve provided.