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While most of my recent thinking has been on the BT/RBT recruitment, retention, and turnover that plagues our field, it just dawned on me the other day that our financially-motivated system of care has created another problem that we rarely talk about. The BCBA brain drain…

In our current system where maximizing organizational profits trumps everything else, many profit-seeking organizations are making decisions to hire new BCBAs to replace ones with the most experience because of the immediate cost savings.
While there SHOULD be a role for BCBAs with 25+ years of experience who want to stay involved in direct clinical capacity to help shape and guide newer clinicians to achieve their maximum potential, a suitable role isn’t available. So these BCBAs end up taking a management role, where “maximizing billable hours” is the sole measure of success (and basis for incentive compensation payout) as opposed to client outcomes.
In my opinion, organizations should do everything in their power to retain the most skilled BCBAs and find opportunities to build a specialty practice around their core competencies. Preferably, a cash-based practice to create a diversified revenue stream to begin to mitigate reliance on reimbursement-based revenue streams.
Surely our field can find a way to treat BCBAs with a lifetime of experience with the respect and dignity they deserve, right?


Parent Waitlist Program


November 02, 2023 | 12pm-1pm PDT

Journey to Independence

Community-based program designed to support families on waitlist

Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

Mother Child
Special Learning’s Free Hotline

This is an independent SL Hotline that is part of our VCAT service. This hotline has no connection with any other association or membership group.

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