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Building an Educational Consulting Practice

by Dore Frances, IEC, M.A., founder of Horizon Family Solutions, LLC
I had an overwhelming response last month to the very brief little bio I wrote about how I entered the community of Educational Consulting. Several wrote and asked if I would expand out even more for those who want to start in this business. For me, I always knew I wanted to work with children and families in some capacity. For years I worked in all different kinds of capacities from a grief counselor to working with those in the juvenile justice system. I also knew, that those jobs were not my specific dream. I was anxious to represent children and families but I was not sure what that meant exactly. So I kept building my skill level in many different ways. My solution? I started my business while I was working as an Internet consultant in Silicon Valley building online communities for companies like Avery Labels, BP Oil, as well as some Canadian and European companies. I learned more about the Internet that I ever thought I would use. My strategy, however, paid off. I was able to take some college classes, researched and wrote articles for a local paper and eventually made a transition into running my business full time. Now I specialize in working with the at-risk population of youth and their families. I am the only college graduate in a family of five children. Plenty of new educational consultants start off wanting to work in a niche practice area with an established educational consulting firm. After a few years, however, I hear from them and they say they feel they are in a rut. Educational Consultants who make their mark in speciality areas say they are more focused and happier. It is never too late to refocus once you have learned to be a good educational consultant; you just burrow in and concentrate on becoming an expert in whatever area you have an interest in. I also advise patience. Especially for the younger people. You need to see beyond your own emotions and be very patient with children, families and with your career. Listen to the people who tell you to learn how to be an educational consultant first. It wasn't without heartache, yet I am very grateful to all the mentors I had who gave me advice. I now get referrals from my past mentors. I am known for representing children and families in court as well as a strong advocate for getting children help and keeping them out of the court system. My edge is self-taught expertise in the areas of which I have the greatest interest. You have to be willing to spend time on your own to learn the areas of which you have the greatest passion. I spend a lot of time reading articles. and attending conferences with other professionals I now have a reputation as being well-versed in the areas for which I specialize. I spend my free time developing my expertise on an on going basis. Get experience at any cost. When I started my business, I spent two weeks of vacation time working for free with an attorney to learn as much about the juvenile judicial system as possible. Many of the kids I specialize in working with have been arrested, been in juvenile hall, or the family has had CPS / DHS involved. Those two weeks gave me the beginning experience that created an even bigger passion for the work I now do with children and families. Be a dedicated hard worker and you will succeed.

Dore Frances, IEC, is an educcational consultant, childs right advocate, parent coach, specializing in working with troubled teens and their families in the United States, Canda, and abroad. See her site at: or contact her by phone at:(541) 312-4422, or email
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Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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