Training the Future Child Health Care Workforce to Improve Behavioral Health Outcomes for Children, Youth, and Families
Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief
Childhood diagnoses of cognitive, affective, and behavioral disorders are increasing in both absolute numbers and as a proportion of the total childhood population in the United States, and they are imposing a large and growing burden on children, youth, and families.1 However, the adoption of evidence-based interventions that have proven effective in preventing and treating behavioral health disorders in children has been slow.2 A contributing factor for this slow adoption may be that current training in many fields involving the behavioral health of children is falling short of meeting their needs.
To examine workforce development across the range of health care professions working with children and families, as well as to identify innovative training models and levers to enhance training, the Forum on Promoting Children’s Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health held a workshop on November 29-30, 2016, “Training the Future Child Health Care Workforce to Improve Behavioral Health Outcomes for Children, Youth, and Families.” The main objective of the workshop was to examine the development and training of an integrated health care workforce that can promote family-focused behavioral health care for children and their families. As noted by Laurel K. Leslie, vice president of research at the American Board of Pediatrics, professor of medicine, pediatrics, and community medicine and public health at Tufts University School of Medicine, and cochair of the planning committee for the workshop, the nature and extent of this training can have a critical effect on care. “Between what is known and what is done is what is taught,” she said.
1The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2015). Mental Disorders and Disabilities Among Low-Income Children. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
2Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. (2014). Strategies for Scaling Effective Family-Focused Preventive Interventions to Promote Children’s Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.