A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is a formal written plan to help a child who is having behavior issues in class that interfere with learning. The plan provides teachers and other school staff with a set of clearly established behavioral goals and strategies for how to help the child achieve those goals.
While a child does not need to have a diagnosis to get a BIP, they do need to have a Functional Behavior Assessment to learn more about why the child is acting out (what experts call the “function” of the behavior).
BIPs must be created by people with experience in behavioral psychology. This could be a:
- Social worker
- Board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA)
A BIP should target no more than four or five behaviors at a time. It should identify proactive strategies to prevent the problem behavior that is being targeted as well as reactive strategies for teachers to use in response, when those behaviors do occur. BIPs also include rewards to keep the child motivated.
Ask for a copy of the written BIP once it has been created. Sometimes parents can support the BIP by using similar strategies at home, so ask the behavioral specialist at the school if they have any recommendations for you, too.
Monitoring progress with a BIP
When a child has a BIP it is good to track their progress daily and regularly review the data. Depending on the school, the teacher, a paraprofessional or the school psychologist can all be involved in tracking. Parents should ask to get regular updates on their child’s progress.
Change won’t happen overnight, but if a child isn’t having success, the plan might need to be reworked. If, on the other hand, the child is meeting all their goals, the BIP can be changed to target new behaviors.
Return to Connect to Care for more information about getting kids help.