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Guidance for selecting providers

Teacher talks with pre-school child

When selecting providers of services, treatments or interventions, it’s a good idea to ask about their experience and relevant qualifications.

Some helpful areas to cover include:

  • Professional qualifications
  • Membership of professional bodies (certification, accreditation, registration)
  • Training and/or experience
  • Length of time providing this service

When discussing specific interventions:

  • Ask specific questions about the treatment goals, components, style, target group, outcomes, effectiveness, negative effects and safeguards, as well as therapist experience, qualifications and professionalism.
  • Be hopeful, but conservative, about any new treatment where the effectiveness of the treatment has not been proven.
  • Beware of any programme that claims to be effective for everyone.
  • Be cautious of programmes that do not allow individualisation.
  • Recognise that there are likely to be several suitable treatment options.
  • Recognise that treatment choices should be based on the results of individual assessment.
  • Avoid treatment approaches that do not provide information on how to assess whether a person is suitable for that treatment.
  • Test out whether the treatment was effective by trying it for long enough (e.g. two months). Complete appropriate questionnaires about the targeted behaviours/skills before and after treatment. Tell no one when a treatment has started, and monitor progress by making written notes throughout the course of treatment.

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