Team Members and Their Roles in Therapy ServicesJuly 15, 2020 12:32 pm Leave your thoughts
All of the new faces and titles may be confusing or overwhelming when first beginning services with an ABA company. Everyone plays a key role in ensuring the continued success of each of our clients. The purpose of this blog post is to describe each of the roles our staff members play and to answer some frequently asked questions.
The structure of our clinics is generally broken down into 4 levels. Each level has specific roles and duties that ensure a smooth flow of information and support to each client as well as each team member.
First, our Clinical Coordinator and Operations Manager oversee the entire clinic. You can think of them like the principals and assistant principals of our clinics, and like their titles sound – the Operations Manager generally oversees the administrative aspects and the Clinical Coordinator generally oversees the clinical aspects of the clinic. In most cases, the Operations Manager acts as the first line of contact for clients when they begin the process of beginning therapy sessions and coordinate with families on an on-going basis. They will field inquiries for services, schedule meet and greets, schedule assessments, submit treatment plans and authorizations to insurance, and schedule all direct therapy sessions for each client. The Operations Manager will also coordinate other insurance-related items such as weekly payments for deductibles and co-pays. On the other side, the Clinical Coordinators are Board Certified Behavior Analysts who will conduct the initial meet and greet with parents to get started with services and oversee clinical support for the entire team. They also collaborate with the clinical teams and management staff to develop and implement company-wide initiatives. These initiatives ensure that our policies and programming are effective, up-to-date, and working towards the improvement of client outcomes. The Clinical Coordinator collaborates with the Operations Manager to ensure seamless pairing of clients with both case managers and therapists based on insurance and client-specific needs.
Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are team members who have a Master’s degree and have met the requirements to take and pass the Behavior Analysis Certification Board’s (BACB) exam. BCBAs serve as case managers for clients receiving services through the clinic. After the meet and greet, a BCBA will conduct the initial assessment and write a treatment plan to submit to insurance for authorization. After the treatment plan is completed and insurance authorizes therapy hours the BCBAs role is to provide ongoing support for clients and parents by conducting supervision of the client’s therapists and provide training for parents to implement behavior analytic procedures in other settings. Completing parent training with BCBAs is incredibly important as it allows for consistent implementation of behavior reduction and skill acquisition programs in all settings. The case managers will also conduct program updates and ongoing assessments to ensure that the client’s programming continues to be effective, relevant, and functional. Every program is tailored specifically to the client’s needs in order to promote the client’s success. The BCBA will also act as their client’s advocate and will schedule and attend consultations in home, in the community, and in school as well as attend IEP meetings to provide support and ensure that behavior analytic goals and procedures are included. In some cases, the BCBA may also provide some direct therapy, but this role is largely played by the Board Certified assistant Analysts and the Registered Behavior Technicians.
Board Certified assistant Analysts (BCaBAs) and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) are therapists who have undergone training and certification through the BACB. Their certifications require ongoing supervision and training to ensure that they are constantly improving on and maintaining the skills required to implement the programming written by the case manager. BCaBAs often have undergone further education and training in order to test for and receive their certification. The BCaBA certification allows those therapists to supervise RBTs and assist the BCBA in some case management duties such as conducting assessments and analysis of the client’s progress. On top of direct therapy RBTs and BCaBAs may also conduct parent training and other learner-specific programming such as intensive feeding or potty-training programs. These team members will be working directly without clients to conduct 1:1 therapy sessions and discuss the day-to-day progress with parents at the end of each session. They are overseen by the BCBA case managers and are required to pass monthly competency assessments in order to ensure programming is implemented correctly and each of our clients are receiving the highest quality therapy.
Finally, there is you, the client! Clients are not only the children we work with, but their families as well. Every member of our team is first and foremost an advocate for the best interests of our clients, improving their quality of life, and promoting continued success. We strive to provide the highest quality of care and support for every family we work with.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who do I contact if I want to schedule, cancel, or modify a therapy session or meet and greet?
The Operations Manager is the best person to contact for all scheduling questions and concerns.
Who do I contact if I want the therapy team to work on a specific skill or my child has been engaging in a new problem behavior?
Your child’s case manager is the best person to talk to with programming questions.
Who do I contact with insurance questions or questions about deductibles and copays?
The Operations Managers are the best people to contact with all insurance-related topics. They are incredibly knowledgeable and they are often able to find answers to questions and concerns quickly if they are unable to answer your questions in-the-moment.
I have a complaint regarding one of the members of my child’s therapy staff. Who do I contact?
Contact the Operations Manager and the Clinical Coordinator regarding concerns or complaints regarding staff members. They oversee all of the scheduling and staff for the clinic location where your child is receiving services.
My child has an IEP meeting coming up and I would like my child’s BCBA/case manager to attend. Who should I contact to make sure they can attend?
Contact the Operations manager and your child’s case manager. They will work together to schedule a time to attend the IEP. Your child’s case manager is always willing and interested in attending IEP meetings as an advocate for you and your child. It is also beneficial to have a brief meeting with the case manager ahead of time to discuss any specific concerns and/or goals you may have for the IEP or for the next school year.
I would like to observe a session. Do I need to schedule this ahead of time? What do I need to bring?
Parents and caregivers are always welcome to sit in the observation room and observe the Natural Environment Teaching portions of the session through the one-way mirrors. We ask that if you’d like to participate in the session for parent training or if you’d like to just sit in and observe the session that you contact your child’s case manager to schedule a time at 24 hours in advance. This gives the therapist and case manager an opportunity to tailor the session time to be as productive as possible. Depending on the content of the session, you may be asked to bring materials with you to the session.
I would like a specific therapist to work with my child. Is it possible to only schedule sessions with them?
The Operations Manager is the best person to contact with this type of request. You are always welcome to request a specific therapist, but it may not be possible due to the therapist’s availability or insurance-specific requirements. All of our staff are well trained, qualified, and receive ongoing supervision from the BCBA case manager to promote your child’s success.
Does your clinic offer Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, or any other therapy services?
We currently only offer ABA therapy. The Operations Manager may be able to give you a list of providers of other therapies in the area. Please be aware that we are not able to recommend any specific company or clinics.