Throughout TCAF’s process of developing our charter, mission statement, by-laws, policies/procedures, and monitoring protocols, we relied heavily on the support and guidance of some of the most highly respected psychologists and legal counsel in the state of Tennessee. The Tennessee Psychological Association (TPA) played an integral role in helping to guide our foundation’s development. Many of our members were involved with the development and operation of the TPA’s Colleague Assistance Committee (CAC), which provided assistance to impaired psychologists and licensed psychological examiners for almost 20 years.
The TCAF was designed to replace the CAC, which did not have a formal relationship with the Tennessee Board of Examiners (BOE) in Psychology. A monograph by the Advisory Committee on Colleague Assistance* (ACCA) of the American Psychological Association (APA) asserts that the most effective colleague assistance programs result from collaboration between state psychology associations and licensing boards. In keeping with this idea, the TCAF was developed in conjunction with TPA to have a formal relationship with the Tennessee BOE.
The TCAF’s program is modeled after proven, successful colleague assistance programs, and is ran by highly competent providers with experience in the field of professional impairment. Additionally, the TCAF utilizes monitoring tools that have heretofore been excluded from other similar organizations. The TCAF has consulted with some of the top experts in the country in multiple areas (e.g., boundary violations in professional psychology practice) to assist with developing concise, tailored protocols for monitoring mental healthcare professionals struggling with specific issues.
*American Psychological Association Board of Professional Affairs’ Advisory Committee on Colleague Assistance. (2006). Advancing colleague assistance in professional psychology. Washington, DC: Author. Available at: http://www.apa.org/practice/acca_monograph.pdf