USF Community Solutions Webinars

Upcoming webinars features USF experts on community initiatives and care.


By Barbara Melendez

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2012) – When children act out in school, classic forms of punishment are probably the worst response. 

The alternative? Positive Behavior Support – a framework for implementing evidence-based practices – the kind that result in improved behavior and academic outcomes.

“Children best learn how to behave appropriately when they receive recognition for what they are doing right,” said University of South Florida Professor Don Kincaid, co-director of the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities within the USF Department of Child & Family Studies (CFS).

Kincaid expounded on the topic during the kickoff webinar this week accessed by educators, parents and other interested parties. The webinar will be archived online, as are all of the Community Solutions webinars. For more information, click here or visit 

Community Solutions exists to provide information and education on outcome data and ongoing research and policy development.

"The SWPBS program is a successful evidenced-based social innovation just as powerful and impactful as a technical innovation," said CFS Department Chair Mario Hernandez. "The difference is that the innovation is aimed at changing the entire social climate of schools and improving the achievements of all students. It results in reducing problem behaviors in a positive way. Our model has changed national education policies and is one of the nation's leading frameworks for achieving this goal.”

CFS has received funding to help change challenging behavior in early childhood programs in Hillsborough County. Specifically, CFS will work with Hillsborough’s Early Learning Coalition to provide training and technical assistance on program-wide Positive Behavior Support efforts.

Upcoming webinars include Oct. 30, with CFS Research Associate Professor and Division Director Sharon Hodges and CFS Research Assistant Professor Kathleen Ferreira on Thinking Systematically: Six Lessons of System of Care Implementation; Nov. 15, Running from Foster Care: Strategies for Assessing and intervening with Youth Who Run Away from Foster Care Placements, with CFS Research Assistant Professor Kimberly Crosland and CFS Assistant in Research Ruby Joseph; Dec. 4, How do we know what is happening at the practice level in systems of care?, with CFS Assistant Professor Mary I. Armstrong; and Dec. 19, Asking Families: How Data from Families can Inform Policy and Practice with Lisa Lambert, executive director of the Parent Professional Advocacy League in Boston.  All are at 2 p.m. EST. And all can be accessed online within days.

For more information about all of the Community Solutions webinars and/or to register, click here or visit

In his presentation, Kincaid offered an overview of an approach to working with difficult students which is utilized in nearly 20,000 schools across the United States. The approach is called “School-wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS): Working Together to Implement Systems Change Across Schools, Districts, and States,”

“SWPBS extends what we have learned from supporting individual students with problem behavior to supporting systems change across the entire school to promote positive behavioral growth for all students,” Kincaid said. “A critical aspect of creating a safe and effective school that supports both academic and social success of all students, is building a district and state support system for all schools.”

An expert on school and systems change, Kincaid also directs USF's participation in the OSEP Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, a partnership of universities and agencies across the country. The Center aims to give school districts capacity-building information and technical assistance for identifying, adapting and sustaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices.

Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.