4. SLP CASELOAD CUTS

Let’s talk about practical techniques for reducing the SLP caseload by way of Strategic Eligibility Management – practical points.

SET A GOAL!

First, start the new school year with a goal of 10% reduction in caseload through SEM.

Even if you fail entirely the goal will force you to question your overall judgment about how you evaluate children, how you handle least restrictive environment, and how you dismiss children. You will be surprised that once you set the goal, there is a lot to learn. It is a different way of thinking about “service.” You service your children well when your eligibility determinations are correct! Getting kids out of special education is a service, too.

Second, announce your goal informally and informally.

Perhaps the director of special education has a personnel process you can use covering goal setting for your employment year. Explain your goal and give him or her something to read about over-identification. Tell other SLPs your caseload is big and now you are going to try a fresh approach, disqualifying more children from speech services. Or, say, “I’m going to try to do more consult work this year.” Get the word out that you are taking a fresh look at caseload management.

Third, consider that a small reduction in caseload size helps you a lot improve service to other children who really need you.

If you have 50 children to start off with, you will end up with 45 at the end of the year. This is a significant workload reduction. If you exit one hard case, it will be like exiting two children. After some success the first year, it will go much better the second. In fact, you may wonder why it took you so long to see caseload management as service delivery.

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