National Center for Effective Mental Halth Consultation
   

Making the Job Description and Contract Living Documents

Once you have written a good job description and contract, it is important to review these documents periodically and to make adjustments as needed given the program’s emerging needs. Contracts can be cumbersome and difficult to change, unless they have been written in a way that allows some flexibility and periodic review. Language that describes how consultation services will be reviewed, and modifications in the types and/or frequency of various activities is key to making sure consultation can meet emerging needs of the program.

As living documents, the job description and contract should be flexible enough to allow for changes as the ECMHC services provided by the consultant grow and change over time. In addition, if the Head Start program’s vision of mental health services changes over time, those changes should be reflected in the job description or contract. Ideally, you will want to build in specific time points for reviewing the contract and making adjustments based on ongoing program needs assessment and implementation of the ECMHC services. A good time to do this is at an annual performance or contract review with the consultant. Administrators should consider having a policy requiring annual input from families, staff, and the mental health consultant at the end of the school year that includes reflection on any needed or desired adjustments in consultation services.

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Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development National Center for Effective Mental Health Consultation