As the new school year gets started, it's not just students and teachers getting back into the swing of things. Pediatric therapists also play a vital role in many schools, but you might be surprised to learn how many of those therapists are contractors.
In fact, 90% of the placement revenue earned by recruiting firm PediaStaff comes from contract staffing, according to the firm's Vice President of Recruitment, Keith Adams. PediaStaff places Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP), Occupational Therapists (OT), Physical Therapists (PT), and Psychologists in direct hire and contract positions.
While PediaStaff can make placements in hospitals, clinics, and home health environments, a good number of their placements are in the schools. That is largely because school systems are required to provide educational based therapy services to students who have disabilities as defined within Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, (IDEA).
For a number of reasons, school districts often choose to use contractors to meet these requirements, Adams said. For starters, many school districts have a shortage of qualified therapists. Those districts can get therapists from other areas to come in on a contract basis because therapists enjoy the flexibility and opportunity to travel that contracting provides.
“Contract companies step in to provide staff that can hit the ground running within a school to ensure that services are provided when the local school district might not be able to have the staff available to provide the therapy required,” Adams said.
Contract staffing can also help school districts address short-term needs, such as maternity and health-related leaves as well as unexpected openings, Adams said.
“Contract companies tend to be able to provide contractors to fill these staffing needs quickly with the type therapist that the school needs to avoid a disruption in the students’ progress,” he said.
Due to these factors, Adams believes the future will continue to bring a strong demand for contract therapy professionals in schools, as well as in hospitals and clinics, across the United States.