Many schools are noticing a common theme – it is getting difficult at times to meet budget needs and to find experienced people to fill vacancies, such as therapy positions. In order to fulfill the needs, many are reaching for teletherapy services. These therapy services are often more budget-friendly and can be implemented quickly. They are also often easier to fill, since the therapist can typically work from home, in any state, as long as they are licensed.
If you are looking to bring therapy services to your school, here are some easy steps to get started.
- Assess your needs:
What type of services do you need to provide to your students? Do you need therapists to focus on mental health needs, language and speech, physical strength and gross motor abilities, or sensory and fine motor skills? This will depend on the vacancies you have and the needs of the students in your district. The most common services offered through teletherapy are SLP, OT, PT, and Counseling. First, list which service, or what combination of services, you are going to need.
- Decide what therapy approach fits your school’s need best.
Once you’ve decided what type of therapy services are needed, you’ll need to identify the most effective means to to provide those services! You can do this one of two ways, in house therapists, who are often difficult to find, or contract based therapists.
An in-house therapist will be one that you hire to work directly for your district. This therapist can still work remotely, if needed, but would be hired as your district employee. The benefits to this would be the same as hiring an in-person school therapist for your district. Some things to consider, though are the need to have your own secure platform to use, training them in your teletherapy platform and procedures, and providing them with any materials and technology they might need. You’ll also need to search for a therapist to hire on your own or find other resources at your district to support this effort.
You could also contract with a teletherapy company to provide your school the therapists you need. This solution can save you from needing to search for therapists when you have an opening in the future as well as fulfill your immediate need. The online company will provide you with a platform for services and supply the therapists with any materials needed. This could be a hybrid contract company that offers both in-person and remote therapists. It could also be a true teletherapy company that focuses solely on providing teletherapy services. The benefit of working with a teletherapy expert, such as E-Therapy, means that they are focused on teletherapy and most likely have a better foundation for providing therapy services, and a tested technology platform.
Now that you understand the considerations before you get started filling the therapy gaps, it’s time to take action.
- Decide what kind of therapists and therapy services you need.
- Determine if you are going in-house or with a contract company.
- If you contract, what kind of company are you going to go with?
- Finally, gather information and start your review of options.