Behavioral Intervention Teams

What is a behavioral intervention team? A behavioral intervention team (BIT) is a multi-disciplinary group whose purpose is meeting regularly to support its target audience (students, employees, faculty, staff) via an established protocol. The team tracks “red flags” over time, detecting patterns, trends, and disturbances in individual or group behavior. The team receives reports of disruptive, problematic or concerning behavior or misconduct (from co-workers, community members, friends, colleagues, etc), conducts an investigation, performs a threat assessment, and determines the best mechanisms for support, intervention, warning/notification and response. The team then deploys its resources and resources of the community and coordinates follow-up.

A behavioral intervention team is a specific model that has no parallel. For example, many corporations use EAP (Employee Assistance Programs) for employees who are experiencing psychological or coping problems. But, a BIT (Behavioral Intervention Team) is designed to identify behaviors prior to the time an EAP is needed, to engage with a higher level of intervention than an off-site EAP would provide, and to engage with less suasion and more authority if needed.

At schools, the common model is the SAT (Student Assistance Team). BIT differs from SAT in its recordkeeping functions, membership, its coordination with community resources, and its integration with holistic school safety initiatives (e.g., custody issues, stalking, online child exploitation, PFA’s). It is case management at a very advanced level.

On college campuses, SOC (Students of Concern) or CARE teams or committees may be familiar, but the BIT is a 2nd generation evolution of these teams. 1st generation teams were spot problem-solving teams that often had no capacity for longitudinal tracking of behaviors or concerning patterns. They functioned within communication silos rather than across departments with an environmental management approach. View the NCHERM 2009 Whitepaper entitled “2nd Generation Behavioral Intervention Best Practices(PDF), an article specifically addressing the differences between 1st generation and 2nd generation campus teams.

Behavioral Intervention Teams are formed within K – 12 Schools, Colleges and Universities, and Corporations/Organizations.

 

Behavioral Intervention Teams for K – 12 Schools

Behavioral Intervention Teams (BIT) at the K-12 level are an evolution of school safety Threat Assessment or Student Assistance Teams that are prevalent. However, where these teams have traditionally been charged with assessing a threat that already may exist, BIT focuses on preventing the threat and/or crisis before it occurs. While effective threat assessment techniques are a part of BIT function, these teams focus on a caring and preventive approach that incorporates the school, the district, community resources and the family to support the student. Teams intervene with specialized knowledge to identify the earliest signs of potential crisis rather than waiting for clear signs of an impending threat and reacting. Teams develop success plans for students that may include disability support, treatment requirements, and academic assistance. BIT can be coordinated within or across districts and can include appropriate community agencies where available and required.

An added benefit to BIT is in the message it sends to our students, parents, and the community at large – that our students are not “threats” to be responded to, but individuals we should be supporting to prevent small issues from becoming larger ones, to provide early diagnosis (where appropriate), and to connect students and families with needed resources.

BIT integrates training for administrators, faculty and staff to more effectively manage classrooms and schools, as well as to recognize early warning signs of concerning and red flag behaviors. BIT also utilizes advanced recordkeeping management techniques via database software to enable longitudinal tracking of student conduct over time to assess trends and patterns.

Finally, the BIT model allows for potential integration of workplace teams as well, serving all of our school and district employees in addition to our students.

K-12 Campus NaBITA members typically include all members of campus Behavioral Intervention Teams, such as:

  • Designated BIT Chair(s)
  • BIT Case Managers
  • District Superintendents and/or Asst. Superintendents
  • School Guidance Counselors
  • School Psychologists/Counseling Directors
  • District Counseling Coordinators
  • School Health Professionals (e.g., School Nurse, PA, etc.)
  • School/District Disability Service Director/Coordinator
  • School Principal
  • Asst. Principal responsible for student conduct
  • District Legal Counsel
  • School/District Faculty Representative
  • District Media Relations/Public Relations Coordinator
  • School/District PTA representative
  • Academic Affairs Professionals and Faculty
  • Human Resources or Teachers’ Union Representative*
  • District EAP Coordinator*
  • Other offices designated as members of the CUBIT (e.g., EOP/EEOC officer, Athletics, club advisors, etc.)

*If extended to employee concerns.

View our School Membership Information and Join NaBITA today.

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Behavioral Intervention Teams for Colleges and Universities

The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) is a concept originally designed not as a response to campus shootings and violence, but as a proactive way to address the growing need in the college and university community for a centralized, coordinated, caring, developmental intervention for those in need prior to crisis.

Links to college and university BIT websites:

Lists of common names campuses have given to their BIT models:

  • BIT – BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION TEAM
  • BAT – BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENT TEAM
  • CARE – CAMPUS ASSESSMENT, RESPONSE, EVALUATION TEAM
  • SIT – STUDENT INTERVENTION TEAM
  • TAT – THREAT ASSESSMENT TEAM
  • UBIT – UNIVERSITY BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION TEAM
  • RAT – RISK ASSESSMENT TEAM
  • RABIT – RISK ASSESSMENT AND BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION TEAM
  • SUIT – STUDENT UPDATE AND INFORMATION TEAM
  • CMT – CRISIS MANAGEMENT TEAM
  • TABI – THREAT ASSESSMENT AND BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION
  • CAT – CAMPUS ASSESSMENT TEAM

Campus NaBITA members typically include all members of campus Behavioral Intervention Teams, such as:

  • BIT Chairs
  • BIT Case Managers
  • Student Affairs Professionals – (e.g., Deans of Students, Student Conduct Administrators, Residence Life Staff, Student Life Professionals, etc.)
  • Campus Health Professionals – (e.g., Counseling Center Directors & Professionals and Staff, Health Center Directors, Physicians and Staff, Health Promotion Staff, Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence/Women’s Center Directors and Staff, etc.)
  • Disability Services
  • Veterans’ Affairs
  • Academic Affairs Professionals and Faculty
  • General Counsel
  • Media/University Relations
  • Campus Law Enforcement and Security
  • Human Resources
  • Other offices designated as members of the CUBIT (e.g., EOP/EEOC office, Greek Life, International Student Programs, LGBT/Multicultural Affairs staff, etc.)

View our Campus Membership Information and Join NaBITA today.

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Behavioral Intervention Teams for Corporations and Organizations

Behavioral Intervention Teams (BIT) are a relatively new concept in the workplace, spurred by increasing workplace violence and employees with difficult-to-manage personal and professional crises. As Millennial Generation students transition from colleges to the workplace, they bring with them some of the patterns of violence, substance abuse, high levels of medication use and mental health challenges that have impacted colleges for the last decade. Changes in employee self-injury, expectations, and level of personal involvement in the workplace, as well as changes in employer expectations of employee availability and accessibility have dramatically altered the knowledge of employers about their employees (and thus the liability). Turning externally to EAP systems to manage these ongoing internal issues has proven ineffective for many employers. Creating a culture of reporting, early intervention, and behavioral recognition are just some of the areas where BITs are supplementing EAP Programs in today’s workplace.

BITs are also more effective than the recent trend toward developing Threat Assessment Teams. Instead of focusing on assessing a threat that already may exist, BIT focuses on preventing the threat and/or crisis before it occurs. While effective threat assessment techniques are a part of BIT function, these teams focus on a caring and preventive approach that incorporates the employee, the community (when appropriate), other community resources and the family (when appropriate) to support the employee. Teams intervene with specialized knowledge to identify the earliest signs of potential crisis rather than waiting for clear signs of an impending threat and reacting. Teams develop success plans for employees that may include disability support, treatment requirements, and other assistance. BIT can be coordinated within or across different workplaces and can include appropriate community agencies where available. Finally, BITs focus on training front line employees, supervisors, and designated staff on behavioral recognition and identification of warning signs and red flag behaviors.

Other benefits of BITs:

  • Sends a positive message to employees (and potential employees) regarding the level of care and concern your company has for them.
  • Reduces risk and potential liability.
  • Increases employee commitment, enhances trust and reduces lost time.
  • Enhances your bottom line in fewer lost days, less negative publicity, and more goodwill.

Workplace NaBITA members typically include all members of the Behavioral Intervention Team, such as:

  • Designated BIT Chair(s)
  • BIT Case Managers
  • Designated Upper Management Representation (typically V.P. or Assoc. V.P. for Human Resources)
  • Workplace Psychologists/Counselor (where available)
  • Workplace Health Professionals (e.g., Doctor, Nurse, PA, etc. – where available)
  • EEOC/EOP Director or staff designee
  • Disability/Accommodation Director/Coordinator
  • Legal Counsel Representative
  • Designated front-line employees and supervisors
  • Union Representative (where appropriate)
  • EAP Coordinator
  • Community Services liaison (if available)
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Other company officers designated as members of the CUBIT

View our Workplace Membership Information and Join NaBITA today.

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