Share Your Story With NATSAP

In November 2013, NATSAP embarked on an enhanced public relations effort by hiring a PR professional to assist us. One of our PR campaign goals is to share NATSAP member programs’ success stories with external audiences–particularly journalists.

To this end, we are seeking success stories from your program. These stories can be told from the viewpoint of the graduate, a counselor (with permission from the student), a teacher (with permission), parents or guardians, siblings or other family members or friends. Each success story should follow these guidelines:

  • Be personal and told in the first person (I)
  • Be a realistic account of the circumstances surrounding the before and after
  • Describe not just what happened, but include the author’s true thoughts and feelings about what happened and how their lives were affected before and after
  • Run no longer than 400 words.

We plan to use these stories in a number of ways including:

  • As a blog posted on NATSAP’s website
  • A press release featuring one or more stories
  • As a testimonial posted on NATSAP’s website (may be shortened to fit the space) or the soon to be released NATSAP Members Only Forum
  • An excerpt from the story that NATSAP might use as a quote in materials such as a press release, marketing materials, etc.
  • As a video on our YouTube channel for those who give explicit permission for us to post a video. See below on how to upload a video.

PLEASE NOTE: For anyone who submits a story and prefers to remain anonymous, we do not need to use your name, age, gender, geographic location or any other personal identifying information in your story. Our goal is to protect the privacy of graduates and their families while keeping the integrity of your story intact.

Please submit your initial success stories, as many as you’d like, to NATSAP’s office by Friday, September 29 ( Thereafter, don’t hesitate to send us others as they occur.

We have lots of great stories to tell. It’s time we told them. Thanks so much.


Upload videos to YouTube from your computer.

  1. Sign into your YouTube account.
  2. Click on Upload at the top of the page.
  3. Before you start uploading the video you can chose the video privacy settings.
  4. Select the video you’d like to upload from your computer.

New Overtime Rule and What It Means to NATSAP Members

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final regulation updating overtime rules for white-collar salaried employees for the first time since 2004. The rule raised the salary threshold for employees who are exempt from overtime pay from $23,660 ($455 per week) to $47,476 ($913 per week) effective December 1, 2016. Any salaried employee meeting the DOL’s criteria making less than $47,476 a year and working more than 40 hours a week will be entitled to overtime pay.

From the DOL’s website, employers have the following options:

  • Raise salary and keep the employee exempt from overtime: Employers may choose to raise the salaries of employees to at or above the salary level to maintain their exempt status, if those employees meet the duties test (that is, the duties are truly those of an executive, administrative or professional employee). This option works for employees who have salaries close to the new salary level and regularly work overtime.


    • Pay overtime in addition to the employee’s current salary when necessary: Employers also can continue to pay their newly overtime-eligible employees the same salary, and pay them overtime whenever they work more than 40 hours in a week. This approach works for employees who work 40 hours or fewer in a typical workweek, but have occasional spikes that require overtime for which employers can plan and budget the extra pay during those periods. Remember that there is no requirement to convert employees from salaried to hourly in order to calculate their overtime pay!
  • Evaluate and realign hours and staff workload: Employers can ensure that workload distribution, time and staffing levels are all managed appropriately for their white-collar workers who earn below the salary threshold. For example, employers may hire additional workers.


The overtime rule broadens the definition of salary basis to allow nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary test requirement.

FAQ about the Overtime Rule:

Items of Note:

  • Medicaid home and community-based services providers who offer residential treatment to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in facilities with 15 or fewer beds have until March 17, 2019 to comply with the new salary threshold. The limited Non-Enforcement Policy for Medicaid-funded services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in residential homes and facilities with 15 or fewer beds – applies per establishment – not enterprise wide.
  • Overtime compensation can’t be paid with time off (comp-time) calculated at time and a half.
  • Job titles do not determine exempt status.

In September, NATSAP will host a video session with Kacy Kilpatrick (Vice President of Operational Support at InnerChange) discussing how InnerChange approached this new rule.

NATSAP and the Importance of Oversight


NATSAP is the largest not-for-profit membership association dedicated to residential treatment centers, therapeutic boarding schools, and wilderness therapy programs. Our member programs are devoted to providing effective care to thousands of individuals experiencing a wide range of mental and behavioral difficulties. That care is given under the watchful eye of state licensing departments and national accrediting bodies. NATSAP requires the members of our organization to be licensed by the appropriate state agency authorized to set and oversee standards of therapeutic and/or behavioral healthcare for youth and adolescents or accredited by a nationally recognized behavioral health accreditation agency and to have therapeutic services with oversight by a qualified clinician.

To maintain state licensure or national accreditation, a program is required to meet approved standards of care, report incidents, and be subject to periodic (often unannounced) on-site reviews and audits. Many of the accreditation requirements of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations for residential care of adolescents served as a foundation for the development of NATSAP’s Principles of Good Practice (all NATSAP members must agree to abide by those principles before becoming a member). Requiring that therapeutic services be overseen by a qualified clinician is another piece in the oversight puzzle. Independent licensure requires education, training, supervision, and verification of competency. Thus, the employment of licensed therapists and medical professionals provides programs with an additional level of accountability.

NATSAP’s position has been that we support state oversight and regulations of therapeutic programs. We have been (and continue to be) an advocate for proper care and protection. Not only have we developed and widely promoted the value and importance of principles of good practice for clinical treatment, but we have called for state and local licensing boards and legislative bodies to develop, implement, and enforce standards of care to guide programs toward excellence, and to protect our youth in treatment. NATSAP and our Member Programs have been a driving force, for instance, in helping Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Utah state licensing officials determine regulations and guidelines for licensure for therapeutic programs in those states.

The common mission of NATSAP members is to promote the healthy growth, learning, motivation, and personal well-being of program participants. The objective of member therapeutic and educational programs is to provide excellent treatment for program participants; treatment that is rooted in deep-seated concern for their well-being and growth; respect for them as human beings; and sensitivity to their individual needs and integrity.


NATSAP Members to Present at Fall IECA

Ray Estefania, MS, LMHC, CAP, CIP, ICADC will be presenting in New Orleans this year at the IECA conference along with Maureen MacConnell from Red Oak Recovery. The presentation is a master class titled “Complexities of Addiction and Mental Health Care in Young Adulthood” on Nov. 5 at 10 am. We look forward to seeing you in NOLA!

Mac and Estafania

7 Things You Might Not Know About Spectrum College Transition Program

Spectrum College Transition Program

  1. We are co-ed.
  2. We offer a 12 month program, for students who are not ready to return home, and an Academic Year Program, for students who are able to go home for 1 and 2 week academic breaks.
  3. We work with LGBT students.
  4. 100% of our population has Asperger’s Syndrome, and is considered academically Twice-Exceptional.
  5. We are the first Asperger’s Fraternity house in the United States with a Sorority being established this year!
  6. We are a small, supportive program, and only accept 12 students.
  7. Our students either attend Community College, Vocational Program, Internship, or Job!

To see a short video highlighting Spectrum College Transition Program’s Fraternity house, click here:



In 2015, NATSAP started a “Spotlight on our Member Programs”, where we focused on one Member each week and highlighted them on our Social Networking sites. NATSAP recently started our new feature: 7 Things You Might Not Know About (Program Name)!

Let’s showcase what makes our programs stand out! Send your 7 bullet point list of what makes your program unique to as well as any pictures that you would like to share.