Prospective Service Provider

Before we start….

At Cherish Clinic, our commitment to responsible and sustainable business practices underscores everything we do. We prioritize empowering and enhancing the quality of life for neurodivergent individuals. As part of our ongoing efforts, we are currently exploring transitioning to a benefit company. What sets us apart is our unwavering dedication to ethical guidelines that inform and steer our operations and expansion.

Anti-Oppression Framework Business?

Central to our philosophy is an anti-oppression framework deeply rooted in disability rights and the social model of disability. We unequivocally reject professionalism and normative expectations, viewing them as patriarchal, imperialist, ableist, and exploitative. Instead, we foster an environment of equality, equity, access, and authenticity. We encourage prospective collaborators to consider how the clinic aligns with their values and aspirations:

  • How will Cherish Clinic uphold my rights for equality, equity, access, and authenticity?
  • In what ways can our business relationship prioritize my well-being and avoid exploitation?
  • How does Cherish Clinic ensure a fulfilling and meaningful work experience for me?

 

Our Hiring Philosophy

Our hiring process is a departure from traditional norms. We prioritize authenticity over formality, seeking genuine connections with our team members. For instance, during interviews, we encourage individuals to shed professional facades and engage in transparent conversations. This process-oriented approach fosters relationships built on equality and mutual understanding.

Requirements

Ethical Requirements

Cherish Clinic holds its team members to high ethical standards. Continuous learning about systemic injustice, confronting internal biases, and nurturing neurodiversity awareness are essential aspects of our ethos. We expect our therapists to embody these values not only professionally but also in their personal lives. Our commitment to LGBTQ+ affirmation and culturally appropriate language underscores our dedication to inclusivity.

  • Using correct and culturally appropriate terminology around neurodiversity is required.

Cherish Clinic is a space and culture that is explicitly neurodivergent and we have a mandate to maintain a staff roster where neurodivergence is the majority. At this moment, all service providers associated with the clinic are neurodivergent, disabled and/or have other marginalized identities.

  • We are currently not accepting behavioural consultants (BCBA), junior behavioural consultants, or currently working under a BCBA or as BI to deliver any behavioural programs.  If you have prior experience working in that framework, you would be expected to demonstrate how and what you have done to differentiate yourself from your past with a lot of cultural humility.
Required Training or Certifications
  • Criminal Record Check that was done within 3 years.
  • Professional Insurance (if you are not a licensed therapist and not sure where to get this, we can provide some recommendations)
  • First Aid (if you plan to provide in-person sessions)
  • First Aid -Childcare Level (if you plan to provide in-person sessions with minors)
  • Although counselling is not a regulated designation in BC, we require counsellors to be registered with a college or an association associated with FACTBC.
Work Commitment Requirements
  • For therapists, a minimum of 8 hours need to be allocated to the clinic within 6 months from the first client matching.
  • For support workers, a minimum of 15 hours needs to be allocated to the clinic within 6 months from the first client matching.
  • There are many exceptions to the above requirements
  • Reliability: Neurodivergent clients are sensitive to routine disruption, we also require our therapists to be punctual and manage their breaks and cancellations in ways that do not cause the client harm.  If you are neurodivergent, this may require a certain level of self-awareness and personal boundaries around your sensitive capacity and nervous system needs.
  • Client Attachment: Neurodivergent clients can become attached very quickly and experience stronger rejection when the therapist stop offering service.  With all clients, especially children, service providers must decide within the first three sessions about the compatibility of the client-therapist relationship.  For children, service providers much be prepared to offer service for minimum one year after the 3rd session.  Cherish Clinic also has additional ethical requirement in terms of client termination. 
  • Maintain Communication: This one is rather hard for neurodivergent therapists.  We are more prone to burnout and communication shutdown.  If you are unable to communicate or are limited in your capacity to communicate, please have a script and a plan ready in advance.  Cherish Clinic can provide many creative accommodations and adaptations for your communication and fluctuating capacity.   Ghosting clients is unethical and not permitted.

Informed Consent

Our therapeutic approach is definitely not “the better way”. In fact, it is a worse way if you use a behavioural matrix to evaluate progress and results. The behavioural model of disability and social model of disability is not compatible. When someone is being treated using both models, it can cause distress, confusion, and anxiety. If you are to work with other families or agencies using behavioural models, you will find it increasingly difficult or impossible to continue to work with the behavioural way you learn more about disability rights, respect, and autonomy.  

By taking on this job path, it will become difficult or impossible for you to pursue careers in behavioural fields, such as behavioural interventionist or cognitive behavioural interventionist. 

You will also not be provided with any standardized tricks, strategies, or formulas to fix the kids nor will you be allowed to render services in this way. The onus of change and forming connections in a therapeutic relationship falls 100% on the therapist. The process of trying, failing, responding, and learning by the therapist is the foundation of this practice-based evidence approach. Instead of selling tools, strategies, and specialized knowledge, this new way of working requires courage, vulnerability, and humility from the therapists.

This job may involve intense emotional labour and you will be vulnerable to vicarious trauma from exposure to systemic injustice of our clients.

  • You may feel anger or frustration around the disempowerment experienced by our clients.
  • You may experience an existential crisis, shame or guilt about your ableist thinking, action, or work.
  • You may experience increasingly different worldviews with your families and peers.
  • Many service providers discovered their own neurodivergence in the process.
  • Some personal feelings and difficulties may arise and you may benefit from personal counselling to process those feelings.

Even though the service providers with our framework enjoy high demand, high wages, high job satisfaction, and good career outcomes, we need to emphasize that this is work for those who are passionately empathetic where a job is not just a job. 

If this does not match your vision or job expectations, please stop here.

Must Review Materials

Once you are done, share your thoughts and reflection with loved ones and friends, and process their responses, especially if there is criticism and pushback against this framework, and then ask yourself:

This work will continually sensitize me towards the experiences and perspectives of the disabled and this may create shifts between my personal social system and I. There are a lot of hidden emotional labour involved in this job. Is this I am willing to take on?

Then, if you are still interested: email Christine@cherishclinic.com with:

  • Your informed consent statement
  • Your answer and reflection from the heart (Don’t write with professional wording. Just thoughts and feelings that  emerges from within you).

Business Side of Things…

Most of our service providers have incredible skill sets and ways of contributing to the world that are incompatible with the ableist and capitalist systems.  We are skilled in providing a variety of adaptations and accommodations.

Everyone starts as a contractor and employment is rarely offered at this point as the company is still in its infancy and employment is not financially viable.

Who is “the boss”?

As an anti-oppression business, Cherish Clinic positions you as “the boss”.   This power dynamic matters greatly to us.  We provide you with administrative services, a platform and specialized support for you to engage in your business. This language matters.  Instead of taking a commission for your labour which is a form of exploitation, you PAY us a fee to access the Cherish platform.

As a result, the business relationship is highly individualized as you choose what support you access and we provide you with what is logistical and financially feasible for us.

This wording matters on an accounting level:

We charge you the fee to access our service before you are paid for your service. 

The commission is charged before you are paid for the service, because you are the boss and we are your service provider. 

For example

In January, you rendered 1 session of service at $100 privately. and 2 sessions of service on AFU funding for $200 (which won’t be paid later).

Let’s say your commission is 20%.

In February, you would be provided with an itemized invoice where you are only paid $40 dollars NOT $80 dollar.  We not only deducted the $20 from the paid service but also $40 from the service rendered but not yet paid.

In the long term, the differences is zero-sum. You will be compensated for the full $240 once AFU pays us.

We can’t pay you until we are paid.

 

Working with marginalized clients means that the clinic experience more complication and barrier than clinic who works primarily with financially priviledged clients. we are asking that our service providers have a 3-month tolerance from service rendered to being paid.

[Feb 10th, 2024] For those who wish to provide service on Jordan’s Principle, we are encouraging service provider to treat these clients as pro-bono, as the federal payment system is unreasonably slow: 7 month +

Known Factors in the Delay
  • Some funding source only allows invoicing once a month
  • Cherish’s invoice and payment processing schedule 
  • Client delay in submitting necessary paperwork
  • Funding source delay in processing paperwork. 

Between the invoicing, processing, and payout dates, there is often a 2-3 month latency between service and payment. Cherish Clinic has payment policies in place to manage some of these financial risks. 

Payment Choices for Service Providers
Contractors have full control over how much financial risk they are willing to take on. 

Options

Downside

Delay service until AFU is approved

2-3 months wait before service starts

(Therapist only) request payment to be made after each session

Therapist is responsible for payment compliance

Not taking on or limiting Jordan Principle clients

These are the most marginalized children

 Cherish services provider also have full control over their client choice, scheduling, and work load. 

 

Commission Rates

Cherish Clinic is highly transparent about commission rates.  From experience, we have found that our service providers have benefited from the flexibility of this arrangement as they experiment with different levels of services and we continue to learn and review the financial viability of what we are offering.

The Base Commission Rate is (as of Jan 2024):

Out-of-Clinic Services: 20%

In-Clinic Services: 35%

This base rate is very likely to increase in the near future as inflation raises and as we improve the service quality.

    List of Provided Support
    • Website and Blog Exposure
      • Professional and accessible bio features
      • Services Features
      • Blog content access and exposure
    • Administrative Support
      • Intake and billing
    • Human Support
      • Monthly Meeting
      • Incident Debriefing
      • Multidisciplinary Collaboration
      • Team-oriented Competence Support
      • Customer Troubleshoot and Advocacy
    • Google Workspace
      • Work Gmail
      • Internal Communication
      • Job Posting
      • File Sharing
    • Jane app
      • Teletherapy
      • Appointment scheduling
      • Charting
      • Billing
    • Google Classroom
      • Company Manual
      • Professional development Training
      • Psychoeducation Material and resources for clients
      • Case Collaboration
      • Client Task Tracking

    What would not be included in the base rate:

    • Individualized client matching
    • Service Upselling
    • Referrals.  It can naturally happen but Cherish is not responsible for sourcing clients for you.
    • Scheduling: this is extra
    • Ensuring the client’s related paperwork meets your licensure requirements
    • Group services (this needs to be individually negotiated on what Cherish needs to do to support you and what is financially viable for us)
    • Supervision (we are not qualified, yet).
    • Cost of equipment or products you may use for your therapy. For example, Minecraft subscription, clay, or sensory consumables. 

    ND Administrative Support 

    Many ND folks are overwhelmed by administrative tasks and steps.  At a 20% rate, Cherish Clinic is a “sandbox” for the therapist to design, create, and play with their offerings. We can also provide higher levels of executive functioning accommodations and remove some of this administrative burdens. For example:

    Plug-in-and-play platform

    Your only responsibilities are to press the “arrive” button on Janeapp and not ignore emails.

    Online Commission 25%
    In-person Commission 40%

    You will still have 100% control over when you work and what clients you want.  Once you confirm a new client, all you have to do is work the scheduled appointments. 

    List of Provided Support

    In addition to the basic support:

    • Body doubling on administrative tasks
    • Individualized Client matching
    • Service Upselling
    • Client Scheduling
    • Scheduling and cancellation waitlist planning and management 
    • Service maximization
    • Social communication support (client relation management). For example, talking to parents.

    Compare the Two Services

    Basic Rate Full Service
    Online Commission 20% 25%
    In-Clinic Commission 35% 40%
    Referral Passive  Individualized Matching
    Onboarding Default Platforms Individualized & Body Doubling
    Client Executive Functioning Support
    Therapist Executive Functioning Support Default Platforms Individualized Accommodation
    Intake Paperwork
    Billing
    Third-Party Funding
    Upskilling & Selling*
    Scheduling
    Min/maxing*
    Waitlist Planning
    Clinic Communication Default Platforms Individualized Follow-up
    Client Communication Default Client Management Process Full Social Communication Support

    *Everything else is the same

    *Upskilling & upselling: support therapist in their competence in servicing clients with complex or unique challenges and assessing the client’s behavioural patterns and helping the therapist strategize ways to maximize their retention rate and service delivery

    *Min/Maxing: the matcher will carefully strategize to ensure an even and consistent allocation of appointments (such as scheduling monthly clients to the same time slot and prioritizing less-demand spots) and synchronize with other service providers who provide services to the same clients or scheduling and service planning to the clients’ funding patterns.

    Who the clients "belong" to?

    This is an important yet highly capitalistic question.  Clients are not cattles.

    We must default back to the foundation of our company’s values of autonomy, respect, and equity and only provide our clients with choices and recommendations that are in their best interests.  If you decide to spread your wings and leave Cherish Clinic, you may consider offering your current clients to “go with you”, but you must ask yourself “Is this in the client’s best interests?”

    Example A:
    Sandy lives in Vancouver and travels to Burnaby to see you in-person. Sandy pays privately. Then the client may benefit from becoming a part of your new Vancouver practice.  Nevertheless, you must ask your client for their informed consent and present them with different options as well.

    Example B:
    Joey and their children are accessing multiple services through Cherish Clinic funded by Variety Charity.  Joey is neurodivergent and struggles with sudden changes and administrative executive functioning tasks.  Joey’s child, Bobby, is slow to warm up to people and is very attached to you.  Now, this is require a creative solution.

    As a general policy, you must be ready to commit two years to a child client (extenuating circumstances aside). Neurodivergent children tend to be more isolated than neurotypical children and these abrupt relationship changes can be traumatic. However, some of this funding is not transferable.  You must first discuss this case with your supervisor and then with Christine.  We may need to make a plan to support your future dream without negatively impacting this family.

    Before accepting a paediatric case, please keep these things in mind.

    Practicum

    Practicum, within a for-profit company like Cherish Clinic, can be a form of exploitation.  You offer your service for free and yet we charge the client a fee for your service.

    At Cherish, practicum services are charged at the minimum rate to cover our administrative and upkeep costs.  For economically marginalized families, the fee is also waived.  The practicum students have the right to choose their schedule (within the limits of the clinic) and also the type of clients they wish to see, as long as we stay within the theme of neurodivergence.

    Currently, Cherish Clinic cannot provide supervision for the practicum students.  If your school provides supervision, that is great, but otherwise, you can apply to have us as your secondary site.

    Additional Requirement

    To advertise or list your experience with Cherish Clinic on your website or CV or to use us as a referral, you must have completed the following:

    • Attend Cherish’s Disability Workshop at least once (it happens twice a year)
    • Attend at least 4 out of the 11 monthly team meetings (it happens on Saturday)
    • Read and is familiar with the following:
    Company Manual Section: Professional Development Sections:
    Codes of Ethics Module 1: Disability Justice and Neurodiversity
    Culture Module 2: Working from a neurodiversity affirmative framework
    Codes of Conduct PDA by Kristy Forbs
    You will also need to maintain compliance with the Neurodiversity Therapist Collective Ethics Reframing Behaviours Section
    • Present your “therapeutic offering” at one of the team meetings.

     

    What is a therapeutic offering?

     You will create a service offering that is authentic and from your heart

    • Address accessibility or some aspect of anti-oppression awareness
    • “Present” them at one of the meetings (I would encourage doing this without being clinical about it)
    • This service “idea” belongs to you.  The vision is for you to integrate this practicum project into your future practice and set you up for success.

    Past examples:

    Morbid Unicorn

    Letter Writing