Training Initiatives

To provide educational opportunities to enhance services across the state, Texas Health and Human Services develops and provides free training. Training initiatives are based on needs of service providers, people receiving services and supports, and emerging and best practices.

Below, you will find a list of training opportunities available to you with a description of each course and instructions on how to access them.

Positive Behavior Management and Support Workshops

Proactive approaches to establishing positive relationships is essential for caregivers. Positive Behavior Management and Support (PBMS) can be a valuable tool in meeting the needs of the people we serve. The PBMS workshops are designed to help attendees learn techniques for supporting positive behavior, including strategies and techniques for the prevention of problem behavior.

This 7.5-hour training teaches participants how and why attention can be a powerful tool for behavior change, how to use reinforcement to tip the scales toward adaptive, positive and successful behaviors, and how to safely and effectively redirect potentially harmful behaviors as a last resort.

2024 Training Dates and Registration

HHSC will have PBMS workshops in 2024. The free workshops are recommended for, but not limited to, family members, caregivers, providers (educational, geriatric, foster care, longer term services and supports in the intellectual and developmental disabilities and aging population), Adult Protective Services, case managers, and mental health care professionals.

Click here to register for the PBMS training on July 16, 2024.

Note: Continuing education units (CEUs) will be provided. Leaving early or only attending part of the workshop forfeits your CEUs. CEUs provided for these workshops are social worker, licensed nursing facility administrator, nursing facility activity director, assisted living facility managers, day activity and health services managers, certified nurse aide, qualified developmental disabilities professionals, and qualified intellectual disabilities professionals.

Notices for training dates and registration are submitted electronically. You may subscribe for notices at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Gov Delivery site.

Advanced Positive Behavior Management and Support Workshops

The advanced PMBS training focuses on Efficient Functional Assessments and are designed to help attendees learn techniques for developing and carrying-out assessments and analyses, to understand why problem behavior is occurring, and assist in designing individualized treatments.

This 7.5-hour training teaches participants about various methods of functional assessment, including descriptive assessments, anecdotal assessments, and various forms of functional analysis. This will include cutting-edge approaches for leveraging the strengths of each assessment to more efficiently and precisely understand why problem behavior is occurring, limit risk in conducting functional analyses of problem behavior, identify precursors to problem behavior, and use the information from the assessment to quickly and effectively design and implement treatments for problem behavior.

Advanced PMBS 2024 Training Dates and Registration

HHSC will have Advanced PBMS workshops free of charge in 2024. The workshops are available for, but not limited to, family members, caregivers, providers (educational, geriatric, foster care, longer term services and supports in the intellectual and developmental disabilities and aging population), Adult Protective Services, case managers, and mental health care professionals.

Click here to register for the Advanced PBMS training on July 17, 2024.

* If registering for both PBMS and Advanced PBMS, only one registration is required.

Note: Continuing education units (CEUs) will be provided at the end of the workshop. Leaving early or only attending part of the workshop forfeits your CEUs. CEUs provided by HHSC are for social worker, licensed nursing facility administrator, nursing facility activity director, assisted living facility managers, day activity and health services managers, certified nurse aide, qualified developmental disabilities professionals, and qualified intellectual disabilities professionals. Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) CEUs will be issued by the University of North Texas.

Notices for training dates and registration are submitted electronically. You may subscribe for notices at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Gov Delivery site.

Review commonly asked questions on the PMBS FAQ (PDF)

Mental Health Wellness for Individuals with IDD

The Mental Health Wellness for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is a six-part e-learning course that teaches direct service workers and other caregivers about the behavioral health needs of people with IDD who also have a mental health condition. The course will help you understand the biological, psychological and social influences on people with IDD who have challenging behaviors, and will provide tools to help you support the person and promote positive behavior and outcomes.

Through the modules in this course, which are outlined below, you will learn to recognize the "whole person," and to gain a better understanding of different factors that influence the way people with IDD think, feel and behave. You will also learn how you can positively impact their quality of life.

Co-occurring Disorders: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Mental Illness (Part 1 of 6)

Co-occurring Disorders: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Mental Illness teaches direct service workers and other caregivers about the mental health needs of people with IDD and what it means to have a co-occurring IDD and mental health condition.

People with IDD are more likely to have a mental health condition than the general population, even though they are less likely to be diagnosed. This module explores how mental health conditions are often overlooked in people with IDD who have challenging behaviors, and offers strategies to direct service workers who support people with IDD who have co-occurring conditions. Accurate diagnosis and positive supports improves recovery outcomes.

Who should take this course: Anyone who supports people with an IDD and a co-occurring behavioral health need can benefit from this course. At the end of the module, you will receive a certificate as proof you've completed the course. Make sure you print the certificate immediately upon completion or save it to your computer as you will not be able to access it later through the e-learning system.

Trauma-informed Care for Individuals with IDD (Part 2 of 6)

Trauma-informed Care for Individuals with IDD teaches direct service workers and other caregivers about the effect of trauma on people with IDD and how to use a trauma-informed care approach with the people they support. People with IDD who have a history of trauma might have challenging behavior we do not always recognize as symptoms of their trauma. The trauma-informed care approach looks at challenging behavior in a new way and emphasizes the importance of supporting mental wellness in people recovering from trauma.

Who should take this course: Anyone who supports people with IDD and a trauma history can benefit from this course. New employees of intermediate care facilities and state supported living centers who will be working directly with people with IDD are required to take this course. At the end of the module, you will receive a certificate as proof you've completed the course. Make sure you print the certificate immediately upon completion or save it to your computer as you will not be able to access it later through the e-learning system.

Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Support [Part 3 of 6]

Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Support teaches direct service workers and other caregivers the foundational principles of positive behavior support. All behavior is a form of communication that serves a purpose. This module teaches the concepts of functional behavior assessment, which is a process for gaining an understanding why behavior occurs. Identifying what a person is attempting to communicate through their behavior will help you support that person to meet their personal goals. Positive behavior support focuses on increasing person's quality of life. When people are happier, they are less likely to have challenging behavior and more likely to achieve mental wellness.

Who should take this course: Anyone who supports people with an IDD and a co-occurring behavioral health need can benefit from this course. At the end of the module, you will receive a certificate as proof you've completed the course. Make sure you print the certificate immediately upon completion or save it to your computer as you will not be able to access it later through the e-learning system.

Overview of Genetic Syndromes Associated with IDD (Part 4 of 6)

Overview of Genetic Syndromes Associate with IDD teaches direct service workers and other caregivers about different genetic syndromes associated with IDD. Knowing about genetic syndromes and the risks for medical and mental health disorders allows us to provide better, targeted support. Understanding a person's genetic syndrome provides valuable information helping you to establish a foundational relationship with the personal. While the focus of this module is on teaching about genetic syndromes, it underscores the qualities that make each person unique and emphasizes the importance of the relationship between the direct service worker and the person they support in achieving mental wellness.

Who should take this course: Anyone who supports people with an IDD and a co-occurring behavioral health need can benefit from this course. At the end of the module, you will receive a certificate as proof you've completed the course. Make sure you print the certificate immediately upon completion or save it to your computer as you will not be able to access it later through the e-learning system.

Overview of Medical Diagnoses Associated with IDD (Part 5 of 6)

Overview of Medical Diagnoses Associated with IDD teaches direct service workers and other caregivers about common medical conditions that influence people with an IDD and the direct impact these conditions can have on mood and behavior. Often people with an IDD might have underlying medical conditions or problems that influence the way they behave. Challenging behavior usually does not tell us what is wrong, just that something is wrong. This module explores how behaviors might be an individual's attempt to communicate physical pain or illness. It provides strategies for direct service workers to support person's physical and mental wellness.

Who should take this course: Anyone who supports people with an IDD and a co-occurring behavioral health need can benefit from this course. At the end of the module, you will receive a certificate as proof you've completed the course. Make sure you print the certificate immediately upon completion or save it to your computer as you will not be able to access it later through the e-learning system.

Putting It All Together: Supports and Strategies for DSWs (Part 6 of 6)

Putting It All Together: Supports and Strategies for DSWs is the final module of the series. This module reinforces all of the topics covered in the first five, and provides practical tools direct service workers and other caregivers can use every day when supporting the mental health needs of people with IDD. A person's behavior is affected by a complex combination of biological, psychological and social influences. Direct service workers will learn to use specific strategies to prevent and respond when challenging behaviors occur, in a safe way that will support and promote mental wellness and positive outcomes.

Who should take this course: Anyone who supports people with an IDD and a co-occurring behavioral health need can benefit from this course. At the end of the module, you will receive a certificate as proof you've completed the course. Make sure you print the certificate immediately upon completion or save it to your computer as you will not be able to access it later through the e-learning system.