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A few days ago, I posted something on LinkedIn and Reddit entitled “WE MUST PROTECT OUR RBTs AND BTS.” I am so excited to see this topic generating so much interest. Among BCBAs, there’s a genuine interest in wanting to improve conditions for RBTs and a sense of frustration that most are not in a position to affect change at an organizational level.

To be expected, among RBTs and BTs, there’s just pure frustration and anger at how disposable they have been made to feel.

But what I’m most pleased about is the number of agency owners who have reached out to me to share their employment practices and their willingness to share information and knowledge with other agency owners also looking to do right by their RBTs and BTs.

Here’s a start of a list of the commonalities among Ethical ABA Organizations:

1) They pay for non-billable hours. Some at full rates. Some at reduced rates, but there’s a conscious decision made by the organization to absorb scheduling risk.

2) They have programs to provide ongoing training and education, some offer mentoring and coaching, to RBTs because they recognize the need to continue to develop staff.

3) They offer benefits. Medical, Dental, and Vision, and in some cases, disability benefits.

4) Some offer a health savings account and contribute funds to offset the out-of-pocket medical expenses

5) Some offer 401-K and profit-sharing

6) Most pay for the mileage and/or drive time.

7) Many offer more than the bare minimum 5% supervision.

8) PTO includes holidays and vacations. Some go up to 4 weeks after 5 years.

9) Most offer extensive onboarding training for all new hires. And they pay for training. — this one was a shocker. I didn’t realize there were companies that didn’t pay for training. I was told it was illegal.

10) Many offer career paths.

The above list is the bare minimum we would expect of any organization, yet in the field of ABA we’re applauding organizations that are employing good business practices as exemplars of best practices. But at least we have them.

Let’s work together to raise our baseline.


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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