Workforce Development

The Center is committed to to develop university-based training programs in which a new generation of professionals will acquire the skills to identify, understand, and provide leadership in the implementation of systems of care for children who have emotional disturbances and their families.

There are two specific projects under this program:

  1. The System of Care Professional Training Consortium will result in development and implementation of a graduate certificate and degree program in children’s mental health, as well as an on-line education and training program based on this work; and,
  2. the Child and Family Policy Program provides an interdisciplinary doctoral level program that is collaboration between the Center and the Department of Special Education at the University of South Florida.

Children's Mental Health Curriculum Initiative

This initiative is aimed at incorporating key concepts and values from System of Care (SOC) approaches into University curricula across the nation. Through building a central set of resources and partnerships, we hope to provide University educators with curricula that better prepare social workers, therapists, agency administrators, teachers, etc., to support real world provision of effective mental health services, thus improving outcomes for children with mental health issues. [details and resources]

Graduate Certificate in Children's Mental Health

Systems of Care organize a network of mental health and support services to serve the growing numbers of children whose emotional, behavioral, and developmental needs are not being met. However, implementation of effective systems of care that allow children to participate fully in their own communities is a complex endeavor. This requires a great number of qualified professionals to develop, establish, and evaluate effective systems of care.

The Certificate’s course content provides current knowledge about effective service delivery to graduate students seeking specialized training in children’s mental health, and professionals in need of retooling in order to keep pace with the fundamental changes that have taken place in the field. A variety of distance learning methods will enrich students' learning experiences as they encounter diverse perspectives of faculty, both within USF and external to the university, as well as those of national experts recruited to address special topics through seminars and electronic discussions. This will be particularly useful to rural areas, where the recruitment and retention of child welfare workers is especially problematic.

"One of the most vexing challenges facing the children’s mental health field has been how to prepare future generations of professionals to develop, establish, and evaluate effective systems of care,” said Robert M. Friedman, Ph.D., Director of the Research & Training Center for Children’s Mental Health. “Through combining the expertise of our faculty with the contributions of other universities, and using distance learning technologies, we hope that we can help produce the children’s mental health leaders of the future.” [details and enrollment information]

In-Service Training in Children’s Mental Health

To help translate new knowledge into effective practice, the graduate curriculum’s content has been re-packaged into in-service training modules to benefit an array of behavioral health professionals. These new in-service programs and approaches to help bridge the gap between research and practice to improve services for children with mental health challenges and their families. [details and enrollment information]

Child & Family Policy Program (CFP)

The Child and Family Policy Program (CFP) is an interdisciplinary doctoral level program that is a collaborative between the Research and Training Center and the Department of Special Education at the University of South Florida, initiated in 1996 under the leadership of Dr. Albert Duchnowski, Deputy Director for the Center. The program was developed in order to train a new generation of researchers/evaluators who will supply leadership in developing community-based systems of care for children who have emotional and behavioral disabilities and their families. [details]


Children’s Mental Health Policy: Is it working?

This invited presentation by Dr. Robert Friedman elaborates on the current realities of the children’s mental health service system and its relationship to policy formation and implementation. This presentation specifically discusses the scope of the problem, and explores resolutions that are currently at the forefront of the field, including systems of care, evidence-based practice, and new research and evaluation paradigms.
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