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This worksheet is adapted from the materials from our July 2015 conference,
"Strategies to Improve your Behavioral Intervention Team Effectiveness."
When Did You Last Update Your Behavioral Intervention Process?
by Louise A. Douce, Ph.D. (The Ohio State University), Gregory T. Eells, Ph.D. (Cornell University), Ruben Robles (University of Redlands), and Lisa LaPoint (Academic Impressions)
After the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, most higher-ed institutions established behavioral intervention teams (BIT) to better manage potential issues of student and campus safety. But have you updated your BIT?
A lot has changed in recent years, including:
- Confidentiality limits and ways to work within them
- Formal processes and procedures for intervention and dismissal
- National and local standards for violence prevention
If you haven’t kept your team's processes and procedures up to date, your BIT may not be effective in keeping your students safe.
To help you pinpoint areas where your BIT may need improvement, we offer the worksheet above and the following interview with experts Louise Douce, Special Assistant for Student Life at The Ohio State University; Greg Eells, Associate Director for Gannett Health Services and Director of Counseling & Psychological Services at Cornell University; and Ruben Robles, Associate Dean of Student Life at University of Redlands.
Douce, Eells, and Robles suggest that there are three areas in which most BITs fall short:
Problem 1: Not Effectively Managing Internal Group Dynamics and Processes
Lisa LaPoint: How might behavioral intervention teams fall short when managing the group’s dynamics and processes?
Louise Douce: Often, they need a more interprofessional/interdisciplinary team –- student conduct, police, mental health, ADA and legal at a minimum. Some issues that are still handled within one division or college will need wider input.
Greg Eells: Not attending to and effectively resolving problematic group dynamics. Not adequately exploring competing ethical priorities and potential mechanisms for resolution. Not outlining clearly the responsibilities and tasks of the team chair and members.
Ruben Robles: There is often a lack of documentation and concern about writing things down. Where is it kept? Who has access?
Problem 2: Not Educating the Campus Community on Appropriate Reporting Protocols
Lisa LaPoint: How might behavioral intervention teams fall short when communicating appropriate reporting protocols to the campus community?
Louise Douce: If staff and faculty across campus don't know about the team or don't know the referral protocol.
Ruben Robles: There is often confusion over who to tell. Faculty, students, or administrators don’t know who to tell when they observe, hear, or experience a concerning issue with a student.
Problem 3: Not Creating and Implementing a Consistent Follow-Up Plan
Lisa LaPoint: How might behavioral intervention teams fall short when creating and implementing a consistent follow-up plan?
Louise Douce: If the strategic plan is not fully developed for a range of contingencies; inadequate follow-up.
Ruben Robles: There is often confusion over appropriate follow-up care: How often and for how long? Who makes that determination and what is the criteria? What does follow-up documentation look like?
Lisa LaPoint: Thank you, Louise, Greg and Ruben! I look forward to hearing solutions to these common problems from you all at the Strategies to Improve your Behavioral Intervention Team Effectiveness conference this July in Orange Country, CA!