Positive Behavior Support (PBS) Services

Kentucky Locations Only

Positive Behavior Support Services, or PBSS, is a proven approach that focuses on improving quality of life by fostering positive behaviors while addressing challenging ones. Through the use of Positive Behavior Supports across various environments, individuals can reach their full potential and achieve their goals.

What is Positive Behavior Support?

Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) is a person-centered approach rooted in evidence-based principles that aims to enhance the overall quality of life for individuals facing behavioral challenges or developmental disabilities. It focuses on understanding and addressing the underlying causes of challenging behaviors by promoting the acquisition of new, adaptive skills while reducing the occurrence of undesirable actions.


By recognizing and building upon an individual’s strengths, preferences, and environmental factors, PBSS empowers individuals, caregivers, and support networks to collaboratively work towards achieving positive outcomes and enriching lives within various settings, such as homes, schools, and communities.

Positive Behavior Supports vs ABA Therapy

PBS and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy are both evidence-based approaches that share the common goal of promoting positive behavior change and improving the lives of participants of all ages with an intellectual or developmental disability. While ABA therapy is a specific subset of behavior analysis that focuses on systematic behavior modification through principles of reinforcement and behavior shaping, PBS takes a broader perspective.


PBS encompasses a holistic framework that not only addresses challenging behaviors but also emphasizes proactive strategies, environmental modifications, and skill-building to enhance overall quality of life. PBS often operates within the framework of ABA, using its principles to create tailored intervention plans that are data-driven, structured, and goal-oriented. Together, these approaches empower individuals to achieve meaningful behavior change and greater independence.

How do I know if my child qualifies for Positive Behavior Support Services?

We offer Positive Behavior Supports Services (PBSS) through Kentucky’s 1915© Home and Community Based Waivers (HCBS) including Michelle P Waiver (MPW), Supports for Community Living (SCL), and Acquired Brain Injury-Acute/LTC (ABI-Acute/ABI-LTC). PBSS are provided by a Behavior Supports Specialist, a masters level clinician, who work with participants of all ages with an intellectual or developmental disability and their team members utilizing a research based approach in home, school, and community settings.


Michelle P Waiver (MPW) Waiver

Through a collaborative approach with the participants’ parents/caregivers and team members, our Positive Behavior Supports Specialists work to create a plan focusing on social skills, activities of daily living (ADL’s), behavior reduction, and employment.

For more information about MPW or how to apply visit: Michelle P. Waiver – Cabinet for Health and Family Services (ky.gov)


Supports for Community Living (SCL) Waiver

Our Positive Behavior Supports Specialists focus primarily on caregiver training through the SCL waiver targeting to reduce problem behavior and increasing replacement behavior to improve independence for the participant. Our clinicians collaborate with the participant and their team members to maintain a collaborative approach in improving the overall quality of life for the participant. For more information about the Supports for Community Living Waiver (SCL) and how to apply visit: Supports for Community Living Waiver – Cabinet for Health and Family Services (ky.gov)


Acquired Brain Injury-ABI Acute

The ABI waiver is for adults with an acquired brain injury who can benefit from intensive rehabilitation services. The services are designed to help participant re-enter the community and functioning independently. We currently provide Positive Behavior Supports and Individual/Group Counseling for ABI-Acute waiver participants.


Acquired Brain Injury-LTC

The ABI LTC waiver is for adults with an acquired brain injury who have reached a plateau in their rehabilitation level and require maintenance services to live safely in the community. We currently provide Positive Behavior Supports and Individual/Group Counseling for ABI-Acute waiver participants. For more information about ABI-Acute/LTC visit: Acquired Brain Injury Branch – Cabinet for Health and Family Services (ky.gov)

Inquire About Positive Behavior Support Services Today

Get started with PBSS by filling out our online form.

What to Expect During Positive Behavior Support Services

At the heart of our comprehensive Positive Behavior Support Services lies a spectrum of specialized approaches designed to cater to the unique needs of children and adolescents within their environments. Through our comprehensive suite of direct, indirect, and consultative services, we strive to be partners in progress.

Direct Services

Our direct services are centered around hands-on intervention, where our experienced staff work closely with the participant and their team to implement tailored strategies. These strategies are rooted in thorough functional assessments, conducted to gain a deep understanding of the participant’s triggers, motivations, and patterns leading to challenging behaviors. These insights form the foundation upon which our PBS plans are crafted.

Indirect Services

Special needs children playing together as part of PBSS

In addition to direct intervention, our indirect services extend their impact through collaboration and guidance. We understand the importance of involving caregivers, educators, and support networks in the journey towards behavior change. Our consultative services provide a platform for sharing expertise, offering recommendations, and fostering a cohesive approach to treatment. We believe that empowering the entire team with a comprehensive understanding of strategies and techniques amplifies the potential for success.


Our skilled professionals employ a range of assessment tools, observations, and interviews to gain a deep understanding of the underlying factors driving challenging behaviors. This process enables us to identify triggers, motivations, and patterns that may not be immediately apparent. By recognizing the causes and effects of a participant’s needs, preferences, and surroundings, we can craft a personalized positive behavior support plan. The assessment process isn’t merely about analyzing behavior; it’s about unraveling the story behind the actions.

Data Collection and Analysis

At every step, data collection and analysis serve as the cornerstone of our evidence-based practice. Through tracking and measurement of techniques, we continuously assess progress towards established goals. Progress is measured not only in terms of reduced challenging behaviors but also in enhanced communication skills, improved social interactions, and increased independence. This data-driven approach allows us to fine-tune interventions, ensuring that they remain aligned with the individual’s evolving needs.

RBT working at home with a PBSS participant

Get Started With Positive Behavior Supports Services at Surpass Behavioral Health

Surpass Behavioral Health provides high-quality Positive Behavioral Support Services for participants of all ages in Kentucky across a variety of settings. With a focus on underlying causes of behavior, collaboration, and evidence-based strategies we can make meaningful change in the life of participants and families impacted by intellectual and developmental disabilities. Contact us to learn more or get started today.

For PBSS questions

For PBSS questions, you can contact our intake department by emailing [email protected].

Intake Form

To request services, fill out our intake form.

Note: During our transition to Surpass Behavioral Health,  please request services under GMLC or CLiK when accessing behavior support services through the KY Medicaid waivers.

Positive Behavior Support consists of three key and integral stages:

  • Prevention: This stage involves identifying and reducing the triggers or environmental factors that contribute to challenging behaviors.
  • Teaching: The teaching stage focuses on imparting alternative, appropriate behaviors to replace challenging ones.
  • Monitoring: Continuous assessment and adjustment of strategies to ensure ongoing effectiveness and progress.

The key difference lies in the approach. Traditional behavior management techniques often rely on punishment and reactive strategies to address challenging behaviors. On the other hand, PBS emphasizes proactive strategies, positive reinforcement, and the creation of supportive environments to prevent undesirable behaviors from occurring in the first place. PBS aims to promote positive behavior change while enhancing the individual’s overall well-being.

The impact of Positive Behavior Support is quantified through data collection and analysis. This includes keeping an eye on how behaviors are changing, seeing if new skills are being learned, and checking to make sure the person’s life is getting better. These steps help us understand if PBS is helping and making a positive difference.

Yes, Positive Behavior Support is a highly effective and evidence-based approach. Numerous studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing challenging behaviors and improving the quality of life for individuals with various behavioral challenges.

Qualifying for PBS services through a Kentucky waiver program typically involves several steps and eligibility criteria. Residents must have a condition causing challenging behaviors that significantly affect daily life and medical professionals must assess the necessity of PBS services in certain care levels. Once the financial eligibility is approved, individuals enroll in the relevant waiver program, receiving tailored PBS services to enhance their quality of life. Please note that eligibility criteria may change over time, so it’s essential to contact the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services or our office team for more information!