Higher Standards for Behavioral Supports

Autism New Jersey effectively advocates for changes to improve service delivery

May 15, 2018

Last week, the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) released the revised Supports Program Policies and Procedures Manual and Community Care Program Policies and Procedures Manual which include updated provider qualifications for Behavioral Supports that are based on the recommendations made by Autism New Jersey and the NJABA Adult Services Workgroup.

Last year, Autism New Jersey and the NJABA Adult Services Workgroup convened a Behavioral Supports Workgroup made up of professionals in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to review the language and qualifications for Behavioral Supports and formulate recommendations for improvement. Autism New Jersey met with the DDD to share the workgroup’s recommendations and discuss making changes to the qualifications. After months of work and collaboration with the DDD, we are pleased to see that our hard work has paid off. The updated provider qualifications will now ensure that only individuals who have received proper clinical training and/or who are under supervision, particularly in ABA, can provide Behavioral Supports.

“Thousands of adults with autism rely on behavior analytic services to learn, maintain, and generalize essential skills and safely reduce their challenging behavior. Ethically and effectively delivered services can both improve an individual’s quality of life and prevent high-risk situations,” stated Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, Autism New Jersey Executive Director.

Darren Blough, Senior Vice President of Adult Services at Bancroft, has seen firsthand that “the training and competencies of the professionals who provide these services are critical to individuals’ success and community integration.”

“Given our public policy priority to improve the quality of services for adults with autism and challenging behavior, it was gratifying to see the Division and the workgroup collaborate to improve Behavioral Supports,” stated Eric Eberman, Autism New Jersey Public Policy Director.

Autism New Jersey and NJABA are grateful to DHS/DDD Acting Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Seifried and the Director of the Supports Program and Employment Services, Jennifer Joyce, for their willingness to incorporate our recommendations and advance the quality of Behavioral Support Services for thousands of adults with developmental disabilities.

We would also like the thank the members of the workgroup (listed below) for their time and enduring commitment to quality. We look forward to additional opportunities to more closely align the standards of the behavior analytic profession with state policy on behalf of individuals with autism.

Behavioral Supports Workgroup

  • Suzanne Buchanan, Psy.D., BCBA-D – Autism New Jersey
  • Darren Blough, MSW, BCaBA – Bancroft and the New Jersey Association of Community Providers
  • Eric Eberman, M.S.Ed. – Autism New Jersey
  • Christopher Manente, Ph.D., BCBA – Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services
  • Eric Rozenblat, Ph.D., BCBA-D – Institute for Educational Achievement
  • Erin White, Ph.D., BCBA-D – Alpine Learning Group
  • June McKim, M.Ed., BCBA – Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health
  • Paul Shreiber, M.A. – Somerset Hills Learning Institute
  • Dawn Bailey, Ph.D., BCBA-D - Oregon Institute of Technology

For any questions, comments, or additional clarification on the state budget, please contact us at publicpolicy@autismnj.org.

500 Horizon Drive, Suite 530 Robbinsville, NJ 08691
Phone: 609.588.8200; 800.4.AUTISM | Fax: 609.588.8858
Email: information@autismnj.org