Behavioral Intervention FAQs
Here you’ll find answers to many Behavioral Intervention FAQs.
Here you’ll find answers to many Behavioral Intervention FAQs.
The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) coordinates OTC’s resources to address the needs of students who are experiencing significant behavioral disturbances. Our goal is to recommend collaborative and purposeful interventions aimed at helping students achieve success. With one central location available to express concerns, the scope of assistance and the follow-up care that may be necessary can be greatly expanded for our students.
The goals of OTC’s BIT include the following: (1) preventing crises before they occur through the provision of outreach and educational programming, consultation, appropriate assessment and referrals, (2) ensuring that students whose behavior is of concern are contacted through follow-up processes and have access to the appropriate services so that they have the opportunity to improve their welfare and (3) creating a unified reporting and tracking system that will allow members of the BIT to observe patterns of behavior that may elicit assessment and to provide a documented response to distressed students. For more details concerning the Mission and Purpose of OTC’s Behavioral Intervention Team, please visit BIT TEAM PROTOCOL.
Legal agencies and research gathered from institutional tragedies strongly support that educational institutions must address campus safety in a much more unified, planned and proactive manner than ever before. Two states, Virginia and Illinois, require their state universities to have formal teams such as our BIT. It is no longer acceptable for higher education institutions not to have a centralized campus team and system to help identify students in distress early, connect students in distress with appropriate resources and provide follow-up care. Please visit the following on-line resource for more insight into this topic: Why Do Campuses Need Behavioral Intervention Teams?
OTCCares is a set of resources that OTC established to protect the health and safety of our community. The BIT (along with Safety & Security, Disability Support Services and Counseling Services) is one of the resources that falls under the umbrella of the OTCCares initiative. For more information, visit OTCCares.
Some of the most common behaviors students and faculty report include the following:
(Note: Please refer to the question on “When should I make a report to the BIT and when should I contact Safety and Security?” listed below for urgent situations requiring immediate assistance. In instances where 911 or OTC’s Safety and Security must be called first, we ask that you follow up with a BIT report).
If you have concerns about a student, visit OTCCares and click on the “Click to Report an Incident” button to fill out a confidential Incident Report. Please be sure to include as much specific, objective information in your report as you can. The report form provides unlimited space to describe the behaviors of concern and to attach any supporting materials (photos, writings, etc.). If you have questions concerning reporting, you can also consult with any member of the BIT Core Team by calling members directly or by calling the BIT line: 417-447-6697.
When in doubt, please report. Your reported concerns could be critical to the BIT as we seek to determine whether an expressed concern is an isolated event or a sign that a student has more serious issues.
When we receive a report, we will only know the reporter’s identity if the reporter chooses to include this information in his/her report. Reporters can remain anonymous; however, we do encourage reporters to include their contact information so that if we need additional information or have questions concerning a report, we can gather this information more quickly.
Although there may be situations where the student can deduce who reported the concerns, as a general rule, the BIT does not share the identity of the reporter with the student of concern.
We encourage employees to follow the guidelines as set forth by their supervisor when it comes to communicating students of concern. We simply ask that you share this communication through the BIT as well so that, when appropriate, we can coordinate early intervention for this student in conjunction with the actions the reporter, supervisor, department chair and/or dean plan to take. Although it is your personal decision whether you will report concerns to the BIT, we ask that you strongly whether keeping this information isolated within your department is for the benefit the student.
When you submit your report, the designated BIT member receives electronic notification immediately. Depending on the nature of the concerning behavior, we may act on reports within minutes of submission. Not all submissions, however, will warrant immediate response, and in some cases, no response is warranted at that time.
Individuals must contact 911 first or OTC’s Safety and Security if the person of concern poses an immediate threat to self or others or the individual experiences a medical emergency (e.g. seizure, loss of consciousness). The BIT plays a secondary role to all urgent circumstances. Individuals should make emergency notifications to Safety and Security or law enforcement first. Individuals should follow-up during the next business day with Safety and Security as well as complete the BIT Report of Concern form.
CAMPUS SAFETY EMERGENCY NUMBERS:
6911 (if calling from on-campus)
417-447-6911 (if calling from off campus or cell)
At this time, we focus our resources on working with our student population.
The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) is comprised of two parts: the Core Team and the Supporting Team. You may find a full list of active BIT members here.
OTC’s Core Team has a weekly scheduled meeting, but may hold additional meetings as needed. During weekly meetings, core members discuss new reports and on-going cases to coordinate resources for students of concern. The Core Team also remains in daily contact electronically for immediate feedback and case consultation.
OTC’s initially formed the BIT in 2008 as a subcommittee of OTC’s Crisis Management Committee. OTC tasked our subcommittee with developing and implementing the Behavioral Intervention Team Protocol. After two years of training and development, we formally introduced the BIT to the campus community January, 2010.
Core Team members receive extensive instruction from partners of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM) to develop and implement OTC’s BIT initiative. Training involves attendance at conferences, webinars, one-on-one consultation and the study of resources provided by NCHERM and the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA). Members of the BIT Advisory Committee have also participated in numerous webinars on this topic as well as periodic committee meetings.
The BIT Advisory Committee is made up of 23 OTC employees representing a cross-section of the campus community. The purpose of the committee is for members to review trends in incidents, to advise on ways to improve delivery of services, to consult the Core Team as needed and to assist in promoting the mission of the BIT.
Once someone submits a report, the reporter will not know the exact actions that we may take as we seek to protect the privacy of our students. Any number of responses/actions may be appropriate following receipt of an incident report. In some instances, we will take no immediate action and, in other instances, immediate contact with the student will be necessary. Our team follows an objective protocol when determining follow-up actions. The nature of the report, the behaviors the student exhibits and the number of reports that we received previously all play a role in guiding the BIT in actions that we may take. You can view possible actions at the following link from our OTCCares web pages: OTC’s BIT Risk Assessment Tool.
There is the possibility that reports contain false information or are reported out of revenge. Nationwide, the number of “false reports” is actually quite low. This is consistent with our experience at OTC. When someone submits a report, our team is careful about the actions we may take. When necessary, and if the reporter has shared his/her contact information, the team consults the reporter for further information.
We encourage all members of the OTC community (students, employees, visitors to our campus) to participate in the process of recognizing, responding, referring and reporting in order to keep our campus safe and healthy.
In most instances, we proceed with reports of concern for an employee by contacting the employee directly to determine if we can be of assistance through Counseling Services.
Our Career Center and Middle College students have counseling services available to them through the Career Center, and in most instances, the BIT contacts the staff of these areas to follow-up with the student. A staff member of our Career Center also serves on the BIT advisory committee so we are fortunate to have input and suggestions on how to best refer Career Center and Middle College students who may be reported through the BIT.