Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Evolving Role of Independent Educational Consultants, Part 2

Times change.

Recent events, both large and small, have hammered this point home for me these last few months.  On the positive side, it cost me a few less bucks to fill my gas tank yesterday than it did a few weeks ago; but that joy was quickly squelched when my eldest daughter’s college tuition bill came due. 

For those of you who are followers of Loeta and consistent readers of this blog, you know that we pride ourselves on our ability to change with the times.  Our last blog was all about the changing demographics of our clients, and before that we have spoken about changes in programming and schools as well.  Throughout all of this change one thing remains consistent; the product that we are delivering, however if one were to look at the delivery method today versus 5 years ago one would see a marked difference.

Whether it be more flexible contract lengths, more a-la-carte services being offered, an emphasis on case management, or more effective use of video conferencing and social media; more so than ever the overall trend is that educational consultants must look at each case individually, work with the clients and meet the clients where they are (both literally and metaphorically) as opposed to the older model of generating lists and doing straight placement.

When speaking with families I tell them that with 25 years experience, and literally hundreds of site visits and clients during that time, when it comes to the schools and programs - I am indeed the expert.  Conversely they have raised their child, changed diapers, mended skinned knees, and been there through the good times and bad; therefore they are the experts when it comes to their child.  I let families know I depend upon their expertise, and that as a team we will find the best possible academic and/or emotional environment for their at-risk loved one.

So yes, times have changed.  While many lament at the fact that we can’t buy a new car for $5,000 or home for $50,000, I prefer to embrace the fact that we now have so many more options; newer and better ways to communicate and deliver information, a wealth of research and education when it comes to new modalities of treatment and a society which is finally embracing the fact that different doesn’t necessarily mean bad.

Now If I could just do something about that college tuition bill…

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The changing face of Educational Consulting

So here we are, yet again.  After taking advantage of a few opportunities to work in direct care the last few years, we are so very excited to be back to our roots of educational consulting and therapeutic placement. Now that we are back full-time and taking clients, it seems an opportune time to (re)ask ourselves the tough questions; how has the field of educational consulting changed? Are we staying on top of the trends? And most importantly, how can we serve our families, more specifically our clients, better?

Certainly we have tweaked the delivery of our services these last few years; For example, we no longer do placement only but we also now offer case management services, which is unique in our field.  Also, as many of you know we are one of the few educational consulting firms which is firmly entrenched in the addiction world.  In this capacity we with a network of interventionists, short and long term residential programs and sober living homes to assist our clients whose primary struggle is addiction.

All that being said, when looking back over the data from these last five years, one statistic comes through loud and clear.  Yes, the adolescent market is still the lion's share of our practice but the young adult market, and all its complexities, is an ever growing aspect of our consulting practice.  As a profession we have seen this coming down the pipeline for a while now.  All one needs to do is to ask an IEC who does therapeutic work what is the biggest trend they have seen over the last 5 years, and almost universally one will hear it's that their clientele has gotten both older and sicker. 
Certainly those on the programming end of things have seen this trend for a while now, and have expanded their services accordingly.  For example, many wilderness programs and residential programs now offer a young adult track to augment the fine work they already do. One only needs to go back a few years when options for the 18-25 year old whose primary diagnosis was not substance related were few and far between.

Simultaneous to this phenomenon of program expansion, there has been an explosion of age-specific programs for young adults recently.  Having spent the better part of the last year working directly with young men in recovery, we feel we are well educated on the trends in the addiction world and have positioned ourselves well to take advantage of the opportunities out there for families who are struggling.   With this new knowledge base, Loeta will be in a strong position to serve families well along their entire journey. 

We look forward to hearing from you about how Loeta can assist you and your families.