Scope of Practice Alignment for Paraprofessionals and Addiction Counselors

Authors: Megan Dormand, MPH | Julie Schillim, MA, LLP, LPC | Teresa Halliday, MA | Jake Bowling, MSW

Topics: Allied Health, Behavioral Health, Scope of Practice (SOP)

Research Center: Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center

December 1, 2016

Paraprofessionals and other behavioral health technicians have been increasingly recognized for their key role in mitigating provider shortages and increasing behavioral health care access to underserved youth and minority populations. Therefore, it is important to understand the procedures, processes, and services these providers are authorized to provide, as outlined by a scope of practice (SOP).

This article examines the scopes of practice for 4 common behavioral health paraprofessions and addiction counselor occupations, and investigates the alignment, or lack thereof, between scopes of practice and actual practice for each profession.

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