Question # 06: What would be the cost and benefits associated with adding a second Therapist to the one included in the proposed budget for the ACORP?

Page updated on Mar 23, 2021 at 10:23 AM

Question:

What would be the cost and benefits associated with adding a second Therapist  to the one included in the proposed budget for the Alexandria Crisis Intervention and Co-responding Program (ACORP)? (Vice-Mayor Bennett-Parker, Councilman Seifeldein and Councilman Aguirre)  


Response:   

As stated in prior communications with City Council, the ACORP program is recommended to begin as a pilot program with one direct service position and one data analyst. Only after experience with the program is gained is the expansion of the ACORP program recommended by DCHS. 

If ACORP services were expanded beyond the pilot program, it would entail the addition of a 1.0 FTE Senior Therapist (Grade 21) at a total cost of $120,000. The addition of a Senior Therapist position would expand the amount of coverage and potential co-response time that is available. The current proposal permits 40 hours/week of co-response time. The addition of a Senior Therapist position would create 80 hours of available response time. The additional time would allow for increased coverage and response either during peak time periods of need, or over an expanded period of time. That is, with two positions, they could either cover the same shift and be available to respond to multiple co-response calls at one time, or the two positions could each provide single coverage over an expanded number of hours. 

At this time, there is not adequate data to indicate which of these two scheduling alternatives would be preferable if additional staff coverage were available, or verification if a second position is needed. The Senior Therapist plans to partner with a law enforcement officer 40 hours/week to respond to calls for service that involve a behavioral health issue. A second clinician would allow for the already funded Therapist Supervisor to fulfill supervisory duties (program development, developing and reviewing protocols, data collection and analysis, clinical and admin supervision, meetings). 

If Council wanted to add resources to the ACORP program, it is recommended that Council add a contingent of $60,000 so that after the new ACORP program is operating and demand is clearer that funds are available to fund this addition for six months of FY 2022.

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