Proposed changes to Department of Health and Human Services Section 65 will cost jobs in an already strained sector. A current proposal would make all persons serving children with developmental disabilities become certified as behavioral health professionals. Sounds good, right? Well, in order to receive BHP certification, a person must have at least 90 credit hours of college.
Currently, there are many Ed Tech I and II providers who have been working in the field for years who will find themselves unemployed if these changes are enacted.
Not only will these people lose their jobs, but it will create a dynamic where BHP is merely an ephemeral step on the way toward a more advanced degree, leaving special-purpose schools as a revolving door to the detriment of the clients served.
An arbitrary bar, the 90-credit-hour cutoff, contends that whether a person has a degree in education or zoology, they are still more qualified to serve clients with developmental disabilities than the holder of an associate degree with 10 years’ experience.
I can say first-hand that those positions are ones of neither great pay nor glory. Requiring long hours, saintly patience and a thick skin, the sacrifices of those caring individuals should not be tossed away so lightly.
I urge the public to push for grandfathering those deserving professionals.
Douglas McIntire, Auburn