In an earlier post on the Teaching Family Services blog we discussed the necessary components of an effective Motivation System. In this article we are going to provide you with an overview of each different sample motivation system. There are many different types of motivation systems to choose from. The following are some brief descriptions of systems currently in use at some Teaching Family Model sites across the country:
Motivation Systems: Point System
The Teaching Family Model uses a level point system that has a daily and weekly system that almost every agency in the model is familiar with. Youth earn points for positive behaviors and lose points for inappropriate behaviors. A number of points are required daily/weekly to earn and use privileges.
Motivation Systems: Negotiation System
The negotiation system is a system that involves less structure than the point systems. As the name implies, the Negotiation System teaches a youth to “negotiate” for privileges by learning to assess his or her own behavior and to give rationales for why he or she should earn or not earn certain privileges. Instead of points, the youth earns + or – signs to signal strengths and areas where further attention is needed. On this system the youth learns how to compensate for negative behavior by performing an alternative positive or compensatory behavior.
Motivation Systems: Self-Determination
The Self-Determination system is a system with very little structure compared to the point or negotiation systems. As the name implies, the Self-Determination system teaches a youth to be responsible for his/her own behaviors and rely less on the guidance and supervision of his/her teaching parents. The system delays the feedback on the youth’s behaviors until the end of the day to teach the youth how to maintain new behaviors over a longer period of time under conditions of less structure and more remote feedback.
Motivation Systems: Responsibility
The responsibility system is designed for youth who have completed most of his/her goals and are preparing to “graduate” from the program, be reunited with his/her family, return to their home school, and or live on his/her own. This is the least restrictive system in that the youth tracks their progress daily and completes a formal review weekly. The practitioner continues to use the Teaching Procedures but does not award points or tokens when teaching.
Motivation Systems: Behavior Contract
The behavior contract is used for youth who have one primary area for behavioral change. The contract is between the youth and the practitioners and outlines how each will contribute to the treatment goal. It identifies the required behaviors necessary to earn behaviors in a contract form over a set period of time.
With such a range of Motivation Systems it can be difficult to know what’s best for your organization. The use of one motivation system over the other is largely dependent on your specific environment. If you want to find out what motivation system(s) will work best for your organization, please feel free to request a free on-site assessment from us!