The right to effective treatment for individuals with complex needs

Ms Jennifer Colechin1, Ms. Chelsea Troutman1

1Specialist Behaviour Support Services, , Australia

Individuals with characteristics that impact on others and limit social inclusion are often defined as complex. This notion of complexity limits access to effective treatment and the perception of risk posed by the complex client can result in an inherent limitation in the individual’s journey to a good life. Despite being the most resource intense, and having the largest care networks, these individuals experience the fewest actual outcomes.

This round table will facilitate a dialogue that examines existing structures for working with complex individuals and how to achieve positive outcomes within a rights and risk framework.

Controversial Perspectives:
The following perspectives will be discussed as being vital in creating the foundation for behaviour change within systems which support complex individuals in their good life journey:

  1. Practitioners’ own perceptions and value judgements regarding risk and how their own behaviours directly impact on client support and outcomes;
  2. The influence of organisational and community tolerance for risk; and
  3. Existing evidence-based practices for managing risk and positive behaviour change within a group context

The science and principles of behavioural analysis will be applied as a pathway to ensuring rights to effective treatment. The roundtable discussion will generate strategies that support long-term positive behaviour change and management of risks by promoting individual access to natural justices and creating greater opportunities for individuals under the least restrictions.


Chelsea Troutman is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and Clinical Supervisor, with a Masters of Education in Psychology and Applied Behavioural Analysis from University of Cincinatti.  Co-Director of Specialist Behaviour Support Services, Chelsea specialises in severe and complex behaviours across community and statutory contexts, including forensic disability and trauma.

Jennifer Colechin is co-director of Specialist Behaviour Support Services, a clinical specialist in positive behaviour support and trauma-informed care and a senior trainer and senior behaviour consultant with Berry Street. Jennifer holds Bachelor’s degrees in Education and English Literature, a Master’s Degree in Disability Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Forensic Disability.

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