A new law in Oregon (SB 749) requires Independent Education Consultants (aka Therapeutic Consultants) to register with the State of Oregon as a ‘Registered Referral Source.' This law is only tied to adolescent treatment programs in OR. This does not apply to adult programs, because the fact is that anyone 18 or over must sign themselves into treatment.
I received the following lists of the forms and numbers from New Leaf Academy, Deschutes Wilderness Therapy*, and Academy at Sisters; they are demystifying the process of consultants registering for SB 749 and working collaboratively with Oregon’s Department of Human Services Children's Care Licensing. Because AllKindsofTherapy.com’s mission is to promote facts and beg questions that can be answered, while promoting an open dialog about all the facts from treatment to transition for adolescents and young adults, I joined one of their Q&A Zoom sessions organized by Deschutes.
This blog provides some of the questions that were asked by consultants from other states, the steps to get registered by Oregon DHS, and lots of opinions. These opinions are mine, not the programs that supported me with the documentation.
Please contact these programs directly should you want to receive the forms. Listed below⬇ are the professional contacts at the programs, as well as at the Department of Human Services.
Note to families reading this blog: A question you need to ask your independent education consultant is why aren’t you registering in Oregon? This law applies to any independent consultants who might want to place a child IN the state of Oregon or a child FROM the State of Oregon.
WHY DO CONSULTANTS NEED TO REGISTER?
The State of Oregon wants standards for Independent Consultants referring to the state and adolescent/teen treatment programs operating in their state. The new law therefore requires:
- Disclosure: ensure Independent Consultants know and supply accurate information about treatment programs, not just glossy websites.
- Standards: require both Independent Consultants and treatment programs who deal with adolescents submit to background checks, resume, personnel list.
- Mandated reporting: keep children/teens safer, by requiring ongoing transparency around risk in operations, employment, and training.
BUT REALLY, why do independent consultants need to register?
- IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association) & TCA (Therapeutic Consulting Association)* are not accrediting bodies; they are trade organizations. If they were accrediting bodies, this would be a different conversation. The State of Oregon is under pressure to verify safe programming under its licensure and is presently tightening standards, as listed above.(⬆️).
- If a consultant is not registered as a Referral Agent in Oregon and not referring to the adolescent treatment programs, I encourage you to ask more questions.
- If a program in OR is the best place for a client and a professional is not compliant with Oregon regulation, they are not legally allowed to refer to that option. Some may believe the law is unfair or has “no teeth,” but it is the opinion of this author that referring professionals should jump through the hoops, get registered, and then if they feel the need to challenge the legislation they can battle from within, and from a place of legal compliance, to change the law. We know how the government works - it is SLOOOOOW - and with that in mind, waiting “on the sidelines” for appeals and laws to change or catch up is not what is in the best interest of the families. Waiting and seeing, aka the ostrich maneuver, could just leave families in need, and with fewer quality solutions.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE TO REGISTER AS A “Referral Agent?”
- 4 - 8 weeks
HOW MANY FORMS ARE TO BE FILLED OUT/PROVIDED TO OREGON CHILDREN’S CARE LICENSING?
- 8 different docs & OR reserves the right to ask for more info.
- Referral Agent Registration Application 407-049-0020(1)(a)
- Agent’s Disclosure Form(s) 407-049-0020(1)(B)
- General Liability Insurance (Proof of $1million in general liability insurance) 407-049-0020(1)(C)
- Background Check Form 407-049-0020(1)(D)
- Referral Agent Resume 407-049-0020(1)(F)
- Description of Services Provided 407-049-0020(1)(G)
- A Complete Personnel list with job titles 407-049-0020(1)(F)
- Organization chart with job titles and staff names 407-049-0020(1)(F)
- New Registration Fee $325/2 years = about .50/day
DOES AN INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT HAVE TO GET FINGERPRINTED?
- YES, see 4 ⬆️ and complete a full background check.
- If you are not in the state, the state will provide local authorized fingerprinting offices. .
Side note, I was fingerprinted at the NYPD, for free, in order to student teach in NYC. When I was an independent consultant I had one client tell me that they had done a background check on me before taking any recommendations. Then the client did a full background on all the programs I recommended. This due diligence impressed me; I never felt I had anything to hide.
WHAT ABOUT THE LIABILITY?
- Ideally, liability is covered in your contract as an Independent Education Consultant through an Indemnification Clause. I am not a lawyer, but I do like paying mine and I also believe in insurance, which referring professionals are required to have. Check with your attorney or call the contacts at the state contacts below for more information.
- If this question comes from a place of not trusting the information that a treatment program provides you, feel free to reach out to me directly. I would welcome that conversation.
DON’T YOU THINK IF INDEPENDENT EDUCATION CONSULTANTS FOLLOW OREGON’S LAWS THEN ALL OTHER 49 STATES WILL FOLLOW!?
- It appears that one adolescent program has already closed operations and therefore, pulled jobs out of Oregon. I have a hard time looking into my crystal ball and seeing that losing jobs and adding more processes will work for our very divided country.
- Without mentioning specific states by name:
- I find it hard to imagine that a specific state where treatment programs have asked for additional regulation from the state, and the state was not interested, would want to add additional processes.
- Another state, that currently has many programs operating in the state is currently focused on the safety of the client/students once in the state at the treatment programs and less focused on how the client find the treatment,
- Do you think that the states that currently do not regulate adolescent programs want to manage Independent Education Consultants? This author hopes that states will start providing more meaningful oversight for all kinds of programming first.
Programs are willing to talk through this with you and help you with the process as much as they can.
- Academy at Sisters, Janice Cummings (she/her), Admissions Director | O (541) 389-2748 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Deschutes Wilderness Therapy, Andrew Scott, MA, Executive Director | O (541)213-5100 | email@example.com
- New Leaf Academy, Deveney Marshall, Executive Director, | O (541)318-1676 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Oregon Department of Human Services, Tianna Burmester | O 503-983-0952 or Tianna.M.Burmester@dhsoha.state.or.us
- Oregon Department of Human Services, Tom van der Veen, | O 503-569-1091 or Tom.VANDERVEEN@dhsoha.state.or.us
In 2018, I met one of the two licensors in Oregon overseeing and reporting on the programs in Oregon. Tom van der Veen and I were like-minded, certain that the more facts and transparency the better it is for the family, the program, and most importantly the child. He did this blog in February 2018, which has stood the test of time: 11 Questions for Parents to Ask A State Licenser, When Investigating Teen Treatment Programs.
Thank you for reading this. If you are a consultant I encourage you to consider registering because I believe you have nothing to hide. If you are a family and got to the end of this blog, hopefully, you have more facts and information to go on to ask of those around you, in order to facilitate your process. If you would like to discuss this on the phone, please reach out to support @ allkindsoftherapy.com.
For more details about the bill or to find out who testified, read Bill 749.
- Deschutes Wilderness Therapy is an advertiser on this website, along with several adolescents and young adult residential and transition programs.
- I was a co-founder of TCA.
About the Author
Jenney Wilder M.S.Ed launched All Kinds of Therapy in 2015, as the only independent online directory for the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare Industry. With an impressive case of ADHD and her starter career in the '90s in Silicon Valley, the dream for creating a website with features like side-by-side comparison and an integrated newsletter was born. Jenney stopped counting treatment centers and all types of schools that she has visited when she hit 500 many years ago. Jenney has a Masters in Special Education from Bank Street College (NY) and a Bachelors of Arts focused on History from Wheaton College (MA).