25 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Educational / Therapeutic Consultant

Not every question needs answering. There may be other questions you will want to ask. This list is just a first step to finding the best educational consultant for your family and student.

1. Are all your service fees stated in writing, up front, indicating exactly what services I will receive for those fees and how long the services will last?

2. Do you ever accept any form of compensation from a company, program or school in exchange for placement or a referral? (This would be considered unprofessional)

3. Do you attend professional conferences and/or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes?

4. Do you guarantee admission to a program or school, or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships? (This would be considered unprofessional)

5. Do you belong to any professional associations?

6. Do you meet my child / adolescent / young adult before we engage in services with you? How do we know you will be a good match for our family?

7. How accessible are you to us after hours, holidays and weekends? Who covers for you when you are away from your office?

8. How do you keep up with new academic changes, changes in personnel and staff at programs, evolving campus cultures and trends in the educational and therapeutic arena?

9. How long have you been in business as an independent educational consultant?

10. How many programs and schools have you visited over the last 12 months? Over the last five (5) years?

11. How many program / school recommendations will you give us and are they customized to our child’s / teen’s / young adult’s specific needs?

12. How many client cases do you handle each month? How many clients do you have per year? How many are special need client based cases?

13. How often do you go out and visit programs, schools and wilderness programs and how much time do you spend on their campuses or in the field? Do you meet with academic advisors, behavior interventionists, clinical personnel, family representatives, field guides, health care providers, therapists, and other members of staff that may be interacting with my child / young adult?

14. What factors do you consider when recommending particular residential treatment and therapeutic wilderness programs?

15. What is the process like once we start services with you? Are you able to give me the steps that will be taken over the next day, week, month?

16. What makes you different from other educational / therapeutic consultants?

17. What methods do you use to determine the needs of my adolescent / young adult?

18. What methods do you use to follow-up on cases after placement? How long do you follow up with our child / adolescent / young adult?

19. What other services can you assist us with (funding sources, IEP advocates, psychologists for testing, special education lawyers, etc.)?

20. What specialized training do you have?

21. What was your background prior to going into independent educational consulting? What was your education and training?

22. Will you be objective about my child’s / young adult’s current situation?

23. Will you know whether a program or school is having financial difficulties? How do I know they won’t close after my adolescent / young adult enters the program?

24. Will you visit our child / adolescent / young adult in their program?

25. Would you provide us with a list of references from both former (or current) clients and from programs (or schools)?