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01 March 2022

NDIS Improved Relationships budget explained.

Our stories on the various NDIS budget categories are always popular and the information provided by the NDIS can change.

So today, we thought we’d provide some updated information about Improved Relationships which is one of the more complicated budgets.

Before we get started, if you’d like a refresher on the three budget categories: CoreCapital and Capacity Building supports, then check out NDIS Plan budget categories explained.


What does Improved Relationships mean in an NDIS Plan?

Improved Relationships is a budget under Capacity Building in an NDIS Plan. The aim of Improved Relationships is to provide funds for specialised assessment and supports where a person has complex or unclear behavioural needs.

It can support people on the NDIS to improve communication, behaviours and interactions with the people around them.

Improved Relationships covers two key areas:

  1. Specialist behavioural intervention support: Specialised assessment and supports where an NDIS participant has complex or unclear behavioural needs. Behaviours of concern may include persistent behaviours that limit a person’s ability to have a good life or risk physical safety.
  2. Individual social skills development: Supports that assist people on the NDIS to develop social skills to participate in community or social activity.

When included in an NDIS Plan, Improved Relationships will most likely outline some specific positive behavioural support or social skills strategies and what supports may help. It’s often but not always associated with NDIS Plans for children with challenging behaviours.


Types of supports covered by Improved Relationships.

The types of supports covered vary depending on individual needs but may include:

  • Specialist behaviour and intervention supports
  • Training for carers in behaviour management strategies
  • Support to develop social skills
  • Intensive behaviour intervention.


[Image description: A boy and his mum are laying down, the camera is focused on the boy laughing.]


Specialist behavioural intervention support and the NDIS.

Behaviour support is a person-centred, evidence-based framework for managing challenging behaviours and persistent behaviours of concern.

A behavioural support plan aims to improve quality of life by outlining strategies that may help a person to limit or cease behaviours of concern.

This might include strategies to help them cope with feeling overwhelmed or extreme emotions, either in the short term or over a longer period of time. Some practices or approaches are restricted by the NDIS and can only be used if approved.

There are two types of behavioural support plans under the NDIS.

  1. Interim behavioural support plan: Focuses on reducing risks for the person and the people around them. The timeframe for development is one month.
  2. Comprehensive behaviour support plan: This plan is developed in consultation with the person, and their support network and provider and must include a functional behavioural assessment. Any plan must be aimed at reducing and eliminating restrictive practices. The practitioner must work with the provider implementing the plan to provide training to staff or anyone else involved as required. The timeframe for development is six months.

A plan might outline:

  • How to minimise triggers for certain behaviours
  • Support that family members can provide to help reduce the behaviour
  • Supporting the development of alternative and socially appropriate communication skills
  • Outlining the training required for staff and/or family members.

Each behavioural support plan needs to be reviewed every 12 months.


Who can create a behavioural support plan?

In most cases, a behavioural support plan can only be developed by an NDIS registered behaviour support practitioner who is considered suitably qualified and approved by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

They also need to complete a suitability assessment to ensure they meet the requirements of the NDIS and can develop plans in an NDIS-approved format.

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has a dedicated behavioural support team to provide guidance as needed.


We can help you.

Talk to Leap in! about the best way to prepare for your NDIS Plan or Plan Review meeting.

Call us on 1300 05 78 78, to have your questions answered, book your free NDIS pre-planning session or sign up to Leap in! plan management today.


Further reading.

NDIS Plan budget categories explained.

Positive behaviour support for people with autism.

Capacity Building budgets: A closer look.


Originally published on 19 April 2019, updated on 21 October 2020 and 1 March 2022.