One of the key contributing factors in both quality patient care and positive outcomes in behavior analysis is human capital. In the current healthcare climate in the state of Mississippi, Board Certified Behavior Analysts are scarce. As of 5/20/16 The Behavior Analyst Certification Board currently lists a total of 51 board certified professionals in this state. Of this number, six hold the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA) designation while 45 hold the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) designation (BACB, May 20, 2016). Because of the low number of providers, individuals seeking behavior analytic care are forced to choose providers who may not necessarily have the training and skills to adequately address both common and serious behavior problems. Within the school system, this problem is magnified because of the high need and low availability of behavior analysts that consult with school districts in this region. This paper will describe a way to create a school based consultation program that ultimately has the appropriate resources necessary to provide optimum behavior analytic care to students in Mississippi.
Often times, behavioral science is conceptualized as a derivation of psychology. It is widely believed that individuals possessing a background in psychology, counseling, special education, or social work are qualified to address behavior problems without the need for supervision by behavior analysts. In reality, behavioral science is a stand-alone field and those practicing this type of work either need to possess an education grounded in the behavioral sciences or to work closely with someone who has this type of background. When creating a school based consulting...
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...rapy in the school setting
When marketing this type of program we should begin at the Mississippi Department of Education. We could utilize contacts at MDE to get the word out to school districts that UMC was now offering this service. It is anticipated that the business would grow quickly due to severe need coupled with the fact that this is a currently underserved market. Because the focus of this program is school based and not home based garnering support from MDE is the only forseeable marketing need.
Things to consider
I have examined the operational standard manual for the MS Dept of Mental Health, the Medicaid provider manual, and the MS Dept of Education and I was unable to locate what the specific caseload numbers for individuals providing behavior intervention services in the school would be. This information is necessary to move forward.
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