11.17.2021 Tip of the Week: Implementing the NABITA Standards for Behavioral Intervention Teams (Part V)

NABITA membership has more than doubled over the last year. To help new members implement the NABITA Standards for Behavioral Intervention Teams (BITs), and to provide continuing members with a refresher, NABITA is launching a Tip of the Week series specifically focused on the BIT Standards. Twenty standards, twenty Tips of the Week (maybe more) aimed specifically at the practical application of the BIT Standards (Note: the twenty Tips may not be published consecutively so that NABITA can bring you timely updates regarding other topics).

Standard 6. Meeting Frequency: Teams have regularly scheduled meetings at least twice a month with the capacity to hold emergency meetings immediately when needed.

Meeting frequency and length will vary by institution but should occur at a consistent interval to ensure continuity of response to presenting concerns. Most teams meet once a week or twice a month at a set time (e.g., Mondays at 2:00 PM) for the duration of the academic year, though meetings may be less frequent if there is minimal enrollment during summer months. If possible, try to avoid adjusting the set day/time absent one-time unavoidable circumstances such as Convocation, as this can create confusion among BIT members and increases the likelihood that members will be absent.

Additionally, when determining which day of the week the BIT meeting should occur, consider the cadence of when referrals typical are submitted to the BIT. For example, if the majority of referrals are submitted on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, it likely makes sense to hold the BIT meeting on Mondays or Tuesdays in order to ensure the Team can identify a risk level and assign interventions as soon as possible.

Practical tip – The BIT’s effectiveness is only as good as the information it has available to it regarding individuals of concern. BIT members must gather information before arriving at the BIT meeting so that they are ready to report out. To ensure members arrive at meetings with the necessary information, chairs or case managers should distribute the agenda before the meeting and clearly outline which individuals of concern will be discussed so that members can arrive prepared.

In the event that the BIT has no or a few cases to discuss, do not cancel the meeting. Alternatively, BITs should use this prearranged time to conduct tabletop exercises, watch a pre-recorded webinar, review polices or procedures, or engage in other professional development opportunities. Consider using NABITA’s “20 minutes to… Trained” video training series, webinars, or “Brief BITs: Tabletop Trainings for the Behavioral Intervention Team.”

Tim Cason, M.Ed.

Consultant, TNG