NH Children’s Behavioral Health Workforce Development Network

August 15, 2016

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The NH Children’s Behavioral Health Workforce Development Network is a collaboration of groups across the state working to improve the services, supports, and systems for children and youth with serious emotional disturbances and their families. The Institute on Disability has been a part of the network since its inception.

Recently the Network has come out with two important pieces that will make a difference across the state--a report looking at the workforce challenge in NH’s Community Mental Health Centers and an online training module around behavioral health core competencies.

The report, Improving Child & Community Health: Addressing Workforce Challenges in Our Community Mental Health Centers examined the characteristics of the children’s mental health workforce, the impact of staff turnover, and the perspectives of the workforce on successful strategies. The study resulted in the following three core findings:

  • CMHCs face serious challenges in providing reliable and effective care to children because of significant staff turnover serving this population;

  • Respondents note that low wages and excessive paperwork burdens are primary drivers of low satisfaction among staff;

  • An array of potential solutions are available, both financial and management-based, that can help to improve staff retention and improve the care received by children living with mental illness.

You can download the full report on the IOD’s website.

The Network has also developed a set of children's behavioral health core competencies, which are steeped in the system of care approach. This best practice approach describes a system that is family-driven, youth-guided, community-based, and culturally and linguistically competent.

To help train professionals working in the field, the Network developed a set of online training modules. They are free to access and available online. Currently the modules include the following: