For Partial Hospital & Day Treatment children, Daybreak conducts a functional assessment. Functional assessment of a child’s behavior is the systematic evaluation of behaviors and environmental events to determine the possible function of targeted behaviors. Through this process, we are able to identify initial target areas for intervention, potential sources for reinforcement, and potential barriers to learning.

The purpose of the functional assessment is to determine what the “function” of a behavior is for each child. For example, functions may include escape, avoidance, attention or tangible reinforcers. We will analyze the antecedents (that is, what happens shortly before the behavior occurs that appears to trigger the behavior), behavior, and consequences (that is, what happens shortly after the behavior occurs that appears to encourage the behavior), in the development of treatment protocols.

The functional assessment serves as the template for development of behavioral interventions. Understanding the function of behavior allows our professional staff to determine how experiences and interactions in the environment affect children’s behavior and to target change as indicated. The goal is to reduce interfering behaviors and replace them with alternative, socially acceptable behaviors.

The functional assessment may find our partial hospitalization program to be a necessary part of treatment.