As Director of Admissions, I receive calls from families desperate for help and guidance. By the time they have reached me they have typically spent hours researching mental health treatment facilities for their child. They are seeking for answers and are overwhelmed and uncertain. I recommend a professional, an educational consultant, who can access their situation and help them find the best therapeutic program for their child.

An Educational Consultant is a professional with a background in counseling, education, or behavioral health. They have knowledge of the available treatment options which include hospitals, intensive outpatient treatment, residential treatment centers, therapeutic boarding schools, and wilderness therapy programs. Educational Consultants spend time traveling all over the country visiting programs and meeting with their leadership. They are typically members of the Independent Educational Consultant Association (IECA) or the Therapeutic Consulting Association (TCA). These two organizations provide standards that educational consultants must adhere to.

There are over 250 therapeutic educational consultants in the country. They begin by assessing your child and their situation. After interviewing your family, they spend time reviewing psychological testing, IEP and 504 plans, and speak with past and current therapists and doctors. It is then common practice to recommend three to four treatment facilities. Your family can feel confident that these programs will provide the treatment needed for your child.

Here are a few of the many benefits of hiring an Educational Consultant:

  • They are an advocate for the parent and child.
  • They provide guidance to ensure placement in the best facility suited for their child’s needs.
  • They research every program’s student population and specialty, their clinical approach, and their staff expertise.
  • They provide support and counsel.
  • They provide parent coaching or can recommend a parent coach.
  • They have visited the programs and clinicians they recommend.
  • They provide updates to the child’s providers to ensure a smooth transition when they return home.
  • They can save your family money by making sure you child arrives at the right level of care.

Therapeutic placement is really an art, a skillset that requires clinical knowledge of the client, the family system and program offerings. It is multidimensional and can be very complex. Educational consultants understand that it’s just not about matching clients to programs, but it also involves matching clients to people. Cascade Academy excels in treating students with anxiety and OCD. As a specialty program, we primarily work with Educational Consultants to ensure we are the best next step for the family.

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