The care continuum

Interventions for all, some and individual students

Students may require different types of intervention delivered in different ways along a continuum of care - from prevention to intensive individual support to best meet their needs. Schools can also access universal, guided and strategic support for behaviour through the School Success Model.

The continuum of care includes interventions for:

  • all students - creating a safe and respectful learning environment
  • some students - providing early intervention and targeted support for students at risk of developing negative behaviours
  • a few students - supporting students with complex and challenging behaviour needs through intense, individual interventions.

For more detailed information about the care continuum and how to apply it please refer to the Applying the Care Continuum fact sheet (Internal link) located in the 'Student behaviour: associated documents' drop down box.

Preventative interventions aim to establish and maintain safe, respectful learning and play environments for all students. They include:

  • sound classroom management strategies
  • social skill development
  • mindfulness-based interventions
  • physical activity such as ‘brain breaks’ during lessons
  • character education (values and ethics)
  • multi-component health-focused interventions
  • student and parent programs
  • multi-component anti-bullying interventions for all students, including ‘at risk’ groups.

Early intervention approaches address emerging, low level and potentially disruptive behaviours that may escalate if not addressed. 

Effective approaches documented in research include:

  • sound classroom management strategies
  • programs focused on building teacher-student relationships
  • social-emotional skill development
  • mentoring programs

Targeted interventions are designed for students, or groups of students identified as at risk of developing negative behaviours unless support is provided.

Targeted intervention strategies include, but are not limited to:

  • sound classroom management strategies
  • restorative practice resources
  • support from school learning support team and Delivery Support team around a school
  • specialist allied health and behaviour support provider scheme
  • professional learning.
  • counselling, social work and therapeutic interventions.

Individual interventions address more challenging or complex student behaviours and involve individual assessment, implementation monitoring and review.

Interventions supported by research include:

  • sound classroom management strategies
  • programs to increase social competence and interpersonal skills
  • social-emotional skill development
  • meditation and mindfulness-based interventions.

To learn more

Information about this resource

The Care Continuum resources facilitate implementation of a whole-school prevention-focused positive behaviour approach to behaviour support to support the needs of all students.

To provide feedback on this resource, please email

This resource supports teacher and school needs by providing:

  • high quality resources to support implementation of prevention focussed, positive behaviour care continuum
  • supports for all students at their point of need

This resource contributes towards the key areas encompassed in the Student Behaviour Strategy of providing schools, teachers, students and parents with the supports and resources needed to understand the Care Continuum, including a resource hub through:

  • understanding of the care continuum for prevention, early intervention, targeted intervention and individual intervention
  • using principles of good practice in behaviour support
  • providing information for parents, carers and the community to develop meaningful engagement and partnerships to better support their children.

Professional audience

School leaders and teachers across all school settings.

This resource is able to be used without assistance, as a stand-alone resource and/or linked to professional learning.

Student audience

All students P-12.

When to use

To better understand the Care Continuum, including prevention, early intervention, targeted intervention, and individual intervention. There are different entry points for each student depending on their level of need. An intervention can begin at any point across the continuum.


Can be used at any time when teachers require information to better support student behaviour.

System priorities and/or needs

This resource aligns with:

School Excellence Framework

  • Learning domain – Wellbeing (Caring for students, A planned approach to wellbeing, Individual learning needs, Behaviour).
  • Teaching domain - Effective classroom practice (Classroom management).

Relevant frameworks

Existing resources

Consulted with: Delivery Support team, Aboriginal Partnerships and Outcomes, Inclusion and Wellbeing as part of the development of the behaviour support toolkit. 

Reviewed by: Behaviour Services

Last updated: July 2022 

Review date: December 2022 

Byers, T., Liu, K., Knock, A., & Imms, W. (2018). A systematic review of the effects of learning environments on student learning outcomes.

Cason-Clemons, D. (2020). A systemic review of the influence of Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) on student behavior. Trevecca Nazarene University ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. 2020. 27955528.

Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation. (2020). What works best: 2020 update. NSW Department of Education.

Centre on Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports. (2022). Positive behavioral interventions and supports,

Centre on Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports. (2022). Supporting and responding to students’ social, emotional and behavioral needs: evidence-based practices for educator,

Daly-Smith AJ, Zwolinsky S, McKenna J. (2018). Systematic review of acute physically active learning and classroom movement breaks on children’s physical activity, cognition, academic performance and classroom behaviour: understanding critical design features, BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 4.

Goss, P., & Sonneman, J. (2017). Engaging students. Creating classrooms that improve learning.

Hahn, R., Fuqua-Whitley, D., Wethington, H., Lowry, J., Crosby, A., Fullilove, M., Johnson, R., Liberman, A., Moscicki, E., Price, L., Snyder, S., Tuma, F., Cory, S., Stone, G., Mukhopadhaya, K., Chattopadhyay, S., Dahlebrg, L. (2017). Effectiveness of universal school-based programs to prevent violent and aggressive behaviour: A systematic review, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 33(2), p114-129.

NSW Ombudsman. (2017). NSW Ombudsman Inquiry into behaviour management in schools. 

Pearce, N., Cross, D., Epstein, M., Johnston, R., & Legge, E. (2019). Strengthening school and system capacity to implement effective interventions to support student behaviour and wellbeing in NSW public schools: An evidence review. Telethon Kids Institute: Perth, Western Australia.

Solomon, B. G., Klien, S. A., Hintze, J. M., Cressey, J. M., Peller, S. (2012). A meta-analysis of school-wide positive behavior support: an exploratory study using single-case synthesis. Psychology in the Schools, 49(2), 105-121.

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