The following article is addressed to licensed behavioral care specialists.
We understand that locating a licensed mental health care provider familiar with providing ethical emotional support animal services can be extremely difficult. To assist you in finding the appropriate care provider, the following is offered for your consideration.
According to the American Mental Health Counselors Association, counselors must not abandon or neglect their clients. Referrals should be considered appropriate when mental health professionals cannot provide needed special services, or when experience or competency issues arise.
Who We Are.
But first, let’s begin with a disclaimer -- we are not licensed behavioral care providers nor are we attorneys. We never offer clinical or legal advice.
Rather, as allowed by Florida law (we're based in Boca Raton), we're officially an "information services company." In our role, we assist clinical team members with non-therapeutic matters (technology, processing, advertising, compliance, etc.).
We are happy to accept referrals of children (5 and over), teenagers, and adults.
We do not sell emotional support animal letters for a fee, as that is illegal in many states now.
Our consumers are purchasing clinical care time with a local therapist on our team. Using ongoing therapeutic care, and through personal knowledge, our clinicians provide reliable verification, via an emotional support animal letter, of an individual’s disability and disability-related need for a assistance animal.
Scope of Practice.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Younggren, “Mental health professional intending to engage in the certification of an ESA for a given individual must have solid familiarity with relevant law […] and be able to understand, recognize, and apply the laws that regulate emotional support animals.”
Per Florida statute SB 1084, “Mental health care providers must be acting within the scope of their practice.”
Along with training, we offer up-to-date information regarding HUD’s Fair Housing Act guidance, and help our clinical team members understand, recognize, and apply the laws that regulate emotional support animals.
Doing It By The Book.
We follow HUD’s guidance on documenting an individual’s need for a assistance animal.
FHEO-2020-01 notice states that a housing provider may request reliable documentation to demonstrate a disability related need and that “documentation from the internet, is not, by itself, sufficient to reliably establish that an individual has a non-observable disability or disability related-need for an assistance animal.” HUD now requires medical/mental health care providers to have “personal client knowledge” of the client's disability and an active therapeutic relationship.
Fair Housing Act Mandated Clinical Care and Assessment.
Clients ordering our Housing Verification Service (Housing Pro 2020) receive:
- Comprehensive intake exam.
- Multiple secured video clinical care sessions with a licensed professional.
- Clinical assessment and verification of their "disability and disability-related need."
Based on Dr. Jeffrey Younggren's Assessment Model, clinicians will typically:
- Conduct a thorough assessment of the individual requesting an emotional support animal certification in order to establish a disability and disability-related need.
- Evaluation of malingering.
- Consider if the animal in question is capable of performing the functions of an emotional support animal.
- Assess the interaction of the client with the animal to determine whether the animal’s presence has a demonstrably beneficial effect on the patient.
At ESAD Int’l, we’re a global-minded, innovative company looking to drive positive change and solve social problems with the use of technology.
We are passionately driven to operate with the highest ethical values, and from the beginning, licensed mental health care providers have been an integral part of our product development.
Our founder, Chaz Stevens.
Chaz Stevens is a twice-appointed former Deerfield Beach Housing Authority Commissioner and has appeared on Time, Huffington Post, Fox News, Slate, and MTV.
Equal Housing Opportunity.
Every day, to the best of our ability, through understanding and good faith implementation, we follow Federal and Canadian regulations, FHEO 2020 guidelines, strictly adhere to a multitude of state laws, and apply industry-accepted best practices.
There is no fee splitting or compensation paid for any referral.