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Challenging Behaviour - National Strategy Group

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation formed the Challenging Behaviour - National Strategy Group to break down the barriers to enable children and adults to get the right support to have a good life. Find out more about the CB-NSG on this webpage!

About the Challenging Behaviour National Strategy Group

The Challenging Behaviour - National Strategy Group (CB-NSG) is made up of a range of different experienced stakeholders working together, motivated to drive change forward to make a real difference to the lives of individuals with learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges. 

The label ‘challenging behaviour’ can be misused and misunderstood. Instead of encouraging carers and professionals to find effective ways of understanding a person’s behaviour and its underlying causes, it is often used as a diagnostic label, leading to stigmatisation and exclusion. Children and adults whose behaviour challenges are often denied the right to live an ordinary life in their local community and can be placed in institutional settings far away from their homes and families. 

With this in mind, the Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) formed the CB-NSG. It is an action focused group that works together to break down the barriers to enable children and adults to get the right support to have a good life. 

The CB-NSG focuses on four key principles 

  • Working in partnership 
  • Coordinating and sharing good practice 
  • Being action focused 
  • Delivering real change 

Find information about becoming a CBNSG member 

CB-NSG subgroups

There are several CB-NSG subgroups focusing on specific areas of work. These are: 

Campaign families
Campaign Group
Legal Panel
Research Subgroup
Transforming Care Data Group
Positive Behavioural Support Academy

Campaign families

Following the abuse uncovered at Winterbourne View in 2011, Mencap and the CBF invited families to come together to influence and inform the Transforming Care programme and keep the profile of people with learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges high.  Since then, the campaign families have met at least once a year. The group have met with government ministers, representatives from CQC and the National Audit Office. In between meetings the families input to campaigning activity via email and telephone.  The campaign families group has grown considerably since its inception and now has almost 40 members.  

The work of the campaign families group feeds into all areas of the CB-NSG and its sub-groups.

Campaign Group

Members of the campaign subgroup meet four times a year to discuss key issues for families and use this to plan campaign strategies. The group also contribute to other areas of Policy work throughout the year. The group publishes statements, works with family spokespeople and identifies other campaigns to collaborate with.  

A summary of the recent activity of the campaign subgroup is included in the CBNSG update paper available here which details updates of all the CBNSG  subgroups and how the work is linked.

Campaign Group membership is reviewed regularly. The current campaign group membership includes CB-NSG members representing national learning disability and autism charities and independent CBF advisors with relevant experience and expertise.  

If you would like to find out more about the Campaigns Group, please email mary@thecbf.org.uk 

The Legal Panel is a subgroup of the CBNSG, established in 2016, which aims to make better use of the legal framework for enabling families to get the right support for their relatives. It does this by: 

  • Providing information and initial guidance at an early stage 
  • Answering legal queries submitted by families in contact with the CBF, Mencap and NAS. The answers to these questions are returned to families directly, and collated as FAQs on our site.
  • Identifying strategic legal cases and issues of importance to families of individuals with learning disabilities and/or autistic people, and acting accordingly with support or legal challenges 
  • Coordinating and sharing legal work done by a range of groups relevant to learning disabilities and/or autism, with this work including involvement in legal cases, developing resources, and offering support and information 

The legal panel meets regularly and is comprised of representatives of a number of leading law firms, academics and charities. Members work together to improve outcomes for individuals with learning disabilities and/or autistic people and their families when engaging with the legal system.  

Legal panel membership is reviewed regularly.  Current membership includes lawyers from Bindmans, Doughty Street, Irwin Mitchell, Leigh Day and Rook Irwin Sweeney; representatives of the CBF, Mencap and NAS, as well as academics from Bath, Cambridge and Leeds Universities.  

If you have a relevant legal question, please contact support@thecbf.org.uk who will pass it on to the legal panel if appropriate.

Development of a wider legal strategy   

The legal panel identified the need for a wider legal strategy which ensures that existing legal frameworks work well for people with learning disabilities, autistic people, and their families to protect their rights, ensure they receive appropriate and timely support, and to improve outcomes. To achieve this the legal panel along with other key stakeholders meet to consider current issues and challenges facing families.   By identifying priority areas, existing work and resources in these areas is mapped and action coordinated jointly, with stakeholders working cooperatively and supporting implementation of agreed work. The legal strategy group last met on the 5th November 2020 and a summary of the issues raised and agreed actions can be found here.

For more information on the legal strategy group, contact info@thecbf.org.uk. 

Research Subgroup

At the April 2019 CBNSG meeting it was identified and agreed that the CBNSG should include a research subgroup. The purpose of this subgroup is to co-ordinate, promote and advocate for research opportunities that will be of benefit to the learning disability field. The subgroup is currently in development. Plans are in place for the identification of membership and terms of reference. Once core areas of work are identified they will be shared on this page.   

Recent information about the research subgroup will be included in the latest CBNSG update paper available here which details updates of all the CBNSG subgroups and how the work is linked.

Transforming Care Data Group

The Data Group was formed due to concerns that data was not being adequately analysed and used to inform activities in the Transforming Care programme. Members of the data group are drawn from CB NSG core and associate members, as well as individuals with particular knowledge, expertise and interest in this data work. Membership includes academic researchers, commissioners, and representatives from national charities.  

The Data Group meets quarterly to consider the relevant data available regarding children, young people and adults with learning disabilities who display behaviour described as challenging, and the support and services available to them. The work includes:   

  • Mapping data sources & data collections
  • Identifying conflicting data 
  • Identifying gaps in data 
  • Sourcing data (e.g. through Freedom Of Information requests) 
  • Analysing trends in data and the implications for the Transforming Care programme 
  • Raising concerns about data with appropriate individuals and organisations as agreed by the group 
  • Sharing information about data for various purposes, as agreed by the group – including the production of reports, briefing papers etc. 

On a monthly basis, members of the Data Group discuss current issues in the NHS Digital data for children, young people and adults and jointly produce monthly infographics and press statements.  

View the latest infographics  

A summary of the recent activity of the data subgroup is included in the CBNSG update paper available here which details updates of all the CBNSG subgroups and how the work is linked.

If you would like to find out more about the Data subgroup, please get in touch with mary@thecbf.org.uk 

Positive Behavioural Support Academy  

Visit the Positive Behavioural Support Academy

The sub-groups, attended by CB-NSG members with expertise, experience and interest in the relevant area, meet around four times a year to identify the current issues and actions to address these. This work is shared with the CB-NSG steering group who strategically co-ordinate the activity and actions of the subgroups and this is fed-back to all CB-NSG members.   

CB-NSG members are welcome to apply to join one or more CB-NSG subgroups.  Please do get in touch if you are interested in joining or contributing to the work of the CB-NSG through one of the subgroups.   

CB-NSG membership

CB-NSG membership

Associate membership is open to any person or organisation who supports the Challenging Behaviour Charter and demonstrates their commitment to the Charter’s rights and values by completing and submitting a sign-up form.

Transforming Care data

Transforming Care data

Each month data is published on children, young people and adults with learning disabilities and/or autism in inpatient units on the NHS Digital website. This data is published as part of the Mental Health Services Data Set and the Assuring Transformation data set.