Frequently Asked Questions

A Clear Path Forward

Parents feel uncertain when it comes to choosing a school or program. There is a risk of continued failure for a loved one. This is a risk of wasting one’s investment of time and resources. An Independent Educational Consultant helps identify the best possible options to meet your goals.

What is an independent educational consultant?

These terms are interchangeable. An educational consultant or therapeutic placement consultant is a confidential advisor for families with a person age 5-65 facing barriers to success and in need of individualized supports, whether academics, career and life direction, social development, emotional growth, or behavioral health.

Why does it matter that you are independent?

We don’t work on behalf of any school or program and don’t receive kickbacks for enrollment. We work directly for families who hire us as advisors, just as one might hire an attorney to navigate the legal system or a financial advisor to guide on investments and financial decisions.

There are some educational consultants who work for programs. They are not independent. While they emphasize their work is free, they work for a program not the client. These consultants are not objective, not independent, cannot have your best interest at heart, choose from a small list of programs who pay them and are compensated for directing you to a certain program.

What are your fees and how are you compensated?

Our fees are determined by the level of service. Morgan Guidance offers several levels of service ranging from hourly coaching all the way to a comprehensive consultation process.

How is an educational consultant helpful to parents?

Our advisors work directly for your family when you want answers. You will receive professional and highly individualized guidance.

  • We will help you better understand your child’s needs and become aware of all the available options.
  • We function as a central planning hub or the nucleus of guidance for parents.
  • Our independent educational consultants work with you and any professionals you trust in a highly collaborative manner.
  • Together we decide on specialized resources, the right school, or the best possible treatment setting for your specific needs. The final decision is always up to you.
  • We demystify the treatment process and walk you through it step by step.
  • Our process is relational and covers the span of many months – even years if needed.
How do you evaluate programs?

Many qualifications and features are important to success in a school or program. When visiting, we interview leadership and residents. We seek feedback from trusted colleagues and parents. Depending on the campus, we evaluate for:

  • Certifications, licensure, and specialization
  • Appropriately certified educational or licensed treatment professionals
  • Staff-to-client ratio
  • Class size or case load
  • Support staff training
  • Medical availability for residents
  • Psychiatric care
  • Clinicians with advanced degrees and experience
  • Specialized opportunities corresponding to client need including athletics, arts, equine, speech or OT, social skills, gender, LGBTQ, and more

We also evaluate the level of resistance a program is qualified to engage. By reviewing the clients they do best with and their precision in screening, we can gauge if they’re looking for best fit or just want to fill a bed or seat. Additionally, we evaluate orientation to positive supports or negative consequences, use of levels and phases, history of complaints or reports, and many more nuanced features.

Finally, we review cleanliness, quality of food, housing, off-campus privileges, access to phone and relatives, the type, feel, and fitting in with the other students or clients, and an overall sense of safety.

What types of programs do you use?

Programs are recommended based on the level of care indicated, client acuity, and goals. Options may include: stabilization, assessment, short-term intervention, 30-90 day treatment, step down, recovery housing, outdoor behavioral healthcare, adventure-based, specialized academic settings, residential treatment, therapeutic boarding, traditional boarding with supports, young adult transition, adult wraparound, and more.

Is an educational consultant or therapeutic consultant the same as a school guidance counselor or therapist?

Our planning and advising is distinct from the role of a therapist and other family-serving professionals. Our services are adjunct to the work of clinical providers. We add support and care coordination. We draw on the skills of several professions including educators and mental health professionals; however, our consulting is not the same as providing therapy.

As experts on schools and programs, we focus on assessing need and creating a plan with detailed and individualized recommendations. We then provide advocacy and support for our clients while the plan is in place. When indicated or requested, we recommend appropriate psychological assessments and mental health care providers.

Our teen or young adult is not cooperative. Will you work with us?

We frequently work with parents or guardians of a teen or young adult who resists help for whatever reason. We plan with you and help with the process of engaging a resistant teen or young adult.

Will my teen have to go to a mental institution or a bootcamp?

It’s normal to feel uncertain about treatment. Morgan Guidance does not recommend the stereotypical mental institution or punitive programs such as the bootcamp or brat camp model. Contact us to learn about the modern, high-quality programs we do recommend.

What should I expect for the first meeting?

The first meeting is complimentary and provides a chance for us to get acquainted and for you to learn about our process. It is with the adults. We typically meet via zoom. We will hear about your current situation, consider whether our services are a fit for your needs. You may ask questions to help you determine if we are a good fit for your situation. 

When is a good time to hire a consultant?

It is appropriate to call Morgan Guidance any time you have a question or concern, large or small, about your child’s emotional well-being and with questions about academics or behaviors. Your question does not have to be related to a crisis. The sooner you call with questions the more quickly you can identify creative solutions.

Help. We are in crisis.

If you are in a crisis such as school problems, legal charges, Baker Act, psychiatric hospitalization, isolation, self harm, detox unit, drug abuse, or worsening behaviors of any type, we are prepared to expedite our process with families and young people.

What do you know that I can’t learn from the internet?

Websites can be misleading. Our educational consultant spends 20% of her time on the road traveling all over the nation visiting campuses in person.

Elaine Morgan has evaluated and collected data on over 500 schools and programs. We know schools and programs inside and out and beyond what a website tells you. We ensure your loved one is custom matched with the best possible option for their unique needs.

When a treatment program, wilderness program, therapeutic school, or young adult program is needed, a DIY internet search or a simple referral from a pediatrician or therapist doesn’t come close to our expertise and multi-phase extended process. Parents trust Morgan Guidance to give them thorough information so they can feel confident as they select a setting where the student or young adult can be safe, thrive, and grow to reach their potential.

Are you a therapist?

Educational consulting is not the same as individual therapy. We look at the bigger picture of a person’s life and challenges. Educational consultants come from many backgrounds, and while a few are therapists, most of us are not. Many of us are educators. Others of us come from diverse backgrounds including public health, accounting, law, nursing, marketing, sales, and more.

We feel like we have tried everything. Now what?

When parents have questions, want choices, or need more support for a son or daughter of any age, it is our privilege to work with you. You may be as involved as you would like to be. In the end, any school or program decision is always up to the family.

Let's Connect

Interested in learning about your options and gaining clarity around your family member's needs? Let's chat about what it's like to work together.