What is the 3:1 Service Delivery Model?
The 3:1 Service Delivery Model is a flexible scheduling option that primarily uses the workload approach which considers all of the case management activities that are required of SLPs, not just the direct services that are provided to students. This model implements a workload approach where direct speech and language services are provided three weeks out of a month and indirect services are provided during the fourth week. The 3:1 Model does not necessarily follow an actual calendar month. For example, three weeks on/one week off might not be all in the month of May. It might fall in different months. During the three weeks designated for direct intervention, the SLP provides all of the therapy minutes that are mandated by the federal and state government which states that students must be seen for the number of minutes that are written into their IEPs. Those three weeks provide the opportunity to do direct instruction with students, and one week is set aside for indirect services. The indirect week does not necessarily have to be that fourth and final week. Some school districts have implemented it differently by putting the indirect service week at the beginning of the 3:1. Using the last week seems to be the most logical option in most cases; but the model can be designed in any way that meets the needs of the SLP.
The primary objective of the 3:1 Model is to assist in aligning goals for speech-language therapy with the curriculum. Too often SLPs designate services to be apart and separate from the curriculum however, federal regulations and most state regulations state that the SLP is to support that child educationally. Speech and language eligibility is about supporting them educationally. If students are having difficulty in the classroom settings, then that is typically why they qualify for services. This model allows the SLP to pull therapy ideas from the curriculum that are observed during that fourth, indirect service week.
The SLP works with students in the classroom environment in order to understand what their challenges are. This is a great opportunity to look for carryover and generalization of skills in the educational setting. The 3:1 Model can help ensure the student is doing well in the therapy room and in the classroom. This model gets the SLP out of their comfort zone and provides a way for the them to demonstrate their knowledge of the curriculum.
Please refer to the SpeechPathology.com course, Promoting the 3:1 Caseload Model Effectively, for more in-depth information on ways to effectively and efficiently promote the 3:1 model of service delivery to administrators, parents, and staff.