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Building Your Clinic Teams

Clinic Team discussing patient treatment

For our second installment of how to start an ABA clinic, we will be focusing on team building. Most businesses have several teams of people who work together to create and grow it. You may not have all three of these examples but you will likely need something from each one of them. It is critical to create teams of people you would be delighted to work alongside. 

Developing Your Core Team

The Core Team of the business will be in many ways like a Board of Directors. Typically it will consist of advisors, mentors, investors and may overlap with your Clinic Team such as key BCBAs.

The essence of this group will be to provide you and others in the business with a place to bounce ideas off, make plans for the initial rollout and help steer the future direction of the business. In building this team you will want to surround yourself with peers that compliment your strengths as well as fill in the gaps where you feel you will need help.

Basic Team For Your Success

By contrast every clinic will have a few players who are not part of the core and may not even be direct employees.  This includes accounting and financial experts, cleaners, service providers (phone, internet, etc), web creators and advertising gurus. While not part of the core, they are no less important to the overall functioning of the clinic. 

Building Your Clinic Team

In your clinic, you may need a range of professionals to work together to provide therapy and support to clients. Here are the key roles and their typical job descriptions:

  1. Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
    • Job Description: BCBAs are responsible for designing, implementing, and overseeing individualized treatment plans based on ABA principles. They conduct assessments, develop intervention strategies, supervise ABA therapists, and train staff and caregivers. BCBAs also monitor progress and make data-driven decisions to adjust treatment plans as necessary.
    • Qualifications: Master’s degree in behavior analysis, psychology, or a related field; certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
  2. Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA)
    • Job Description: BCaBAs assist BCBAs in implementing treatment plans. They may conduct some assessments, collect and analyze data, provide direct therapy, and supervise ABA therapists. BCaBAs work under the supervision of a BCBA.
    • Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in behavior analysis, psychology, or a related field; certification from the BACB.
  3. Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)
    • Job Description: RBTs provide direct therapy to clients under the supervision of a BCBA or BCaBA. They implement treatment plans, collect data on client behavior, and help with daily activities and skill-building exercises.
    • Qualifications: High school diploma or equivalent; completion of RBT training and certification from the BACB.
  4. ABA Therapist/Behavior Therapist
    • Job Description: Similar to RBTs, ABA therapists provide direct one-on-one therapy sessions. They use ABA techniques to teach new skills, reduce problematic behaviors, and promote independence in clients.
    • Qualifications: Varies by clinic; typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology, education, or a related field and specialized training in ABA.
  5. Clinical Supervisor
    • Job Description: Clinical supervisors oversee the clinical team, ensuring that therapy services are delivered effectively and efficiently. They provide guidance and support to BCBAs, BCaBAs, RBTs, and ABA therapists, and may handle administrative tasks such as scheduling and staff performance evaluations.
    • Qualifications: Typically a BCBA with several years of experience in a supervisory role.
  6. Program Director/Clinic Director
    • Job Description: The program director oversees the entire operation of the ABA clinic. Responsibilities include managing staff, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards, coordinating with other healthcare providers, developing clinic policies, and handling budgeting and financial management.
    • Qualifications: Advanced degree in behavior analysis, psychology, healthcare administration, or a related field; extensive experience in clinical management and ABA therapy.
  7. Occupational Therapist (OT)
    • Job Description: In some clinics, OTs work alongside ABA professionals to address sensory and motor skill deficits. They develop and implement therapy plans that help clients improve their daily living skills and sensory processing abilities.
    • Qualifications: Master’s degree in occupational therapy; state licensure and certification from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).
  8. Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
    • Job Description: SLPs collaborate with the ABA team to address communication challenges. They assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, and communication disorders, often integrating their strategies with ABA interventions.
    • Qualifications: Master’s degree in speech-language pathology; state licensure and certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
  9. Administrative Staff
    • Job Description: Administrative staff handle the day-to-day operations of the clinic, including scheduling appointments, billing and insurance processing, maintaining records, and providing customer service to clients and their families.
    • Qualifications: Varies by position; typically requires organizational and communication skills, with experience in healthcare administration being beneficial.

These professionals work collaboratively to provide comprehensive care and support, ensuring that clients receive the most effective treatment possible tailored to their individual needs.


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