Professional Advocacy

The Professional Advocacy Committee addresses issues of discrimination toward counselors in reimbursement or hiring.  

February 21, 2009

 

Mr. H Douglas Cox

Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Student Services

Virginia Department of Education

P.O. Box 2120

Richmond, VA 23218-2120

 

Dear Mr. Cox:

 

I am writing to address what our organization perceives to be a discriminatory stance on the part of the Virginia Department of Education, but also one that is inefficient and problematic to your personnel and the public that they serve.   I am referencing the stipulation that referrals for Homebound Instruction can only be made by a physician or clinical psychologist (Homebound Instructional Services Guidelines, 2007).

 

Physicians rarely have more than minimal contact with prospects for Homebound Instruction, as their familiarity with such a case is often limited to a brief office visit.  Even psychiatrists, who are largely involved with prescribing medications, may have very limited contact with the afflicted student.  The bulk of psychotherapy, and thus the most involvement with a student, is done by licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed marriage and family therapists.  Each of these professions is licensed by the Commonwealth to independently diagnose and treat the full gamut of mental and behavioral problems.  Schools routinely make referrals to LPCs and other clinicians for treatment. They accept our testing and clinical input to determine Special Education and IEP needs, but essentially nullify our professional credentials by refusing to accept our  recommendations on Homebound Instruction status. 

 

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