A Training Opportunity for Paraprofessionals Interested in Helping Children, Youth and Families Lead agency

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This program is designed to prepare paraprofessionals in healthcare and school settings to provide specialized enhanced care coordination to children, youth and their caregivers impacted by opioid use disorders (OUD) and other substance use disorders (SUD). Building Futures Together is a U.S. Department of Labor apprenticeship program. Each trainee will receive a stipend of up to $12,500 to defray the costs of program participation. Program graduates will receive a certificate from the University of New Hampshire and a nationally recognized Department of Labor Certificate in Behavioral Health.

Program Elements

Level 1 Training: Time to Complete: @ 8 months

  1. Level 1 trainees receive a stipend of $5,000 that can be used to defray the costs of participation in the program.
  2. Level 1 “didactic” training will be primarily online, focusing on the topics below:
    • In-depth knowledge of substance use disorders with specific training on how alcohol, cannabis, opioids, and stimulants impact the brain, how dependency occurs, behavior changes, medication assisted treatments and other research-based therapies and treatments. This topic will include information about the differential impacts on pregnant women and their babies, infants, children, and adolescents versus adults and elders and co-occurring mental health disorders (genetic pre-dispositions, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, for example, and links to depression). Includes the Certified Recovery Support Worker course at the New Hampshire Technical Institute, Concord’s Community College. This module will include training on the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) levels of care and how to assess each child/youth for risk.
    • Family systems, how substance misuse impacts family members, including issues of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, access to care, and other cultural differences. This module includes exposure to child development models including typical child development, developmental trauma disorder, generational impacts, and family systems therapy. Trainees will also learn about cultural differences, language access, and trauma-based care.
    • Enhanced Care Coordination (ECC), including effective interdisciplinary teaming, engagement techniques (motivational interviewing), how to plan and collaborate with families or caregivers, effective planning with adolescents/youth, goal setting, benchmarking using data to continuously monitor progress, advocacy and negotiating strategies, facilitating meetings with providers and natural supports, community outreach, and developing collaborative relationships with community providers. Trainees will also learn how to support transition- age youth, using youth-driven person-centered planning, career development, issues related to benefits changes, and post-secondary education and training programs.
  3. A seminar once a month on Saturdays, where trainees come together and use case studies and course materials to gain greater depth of knowledge.
  4. Trainees will have a 40-hour field experience (which can be their job) that is defined by an agreement shortly after enrollment. The trainees will complete a capstone project that incorporates the course content at their field site.
  5. Trainees who complete the above will receive a certificate from the University of New Hampshire.

Level 2 On the Job Training: Time to Complete: @ 12- 14 months

  1. Must have completed Level 1 training.
  2. Level 2 training occurs on the job. The employer monitors trainee’s attainment of competencies through a 2,000 hour apprenticeship period.
  3. Each trainee receives a $7,500 stipend to defray the cost of program participation.
  4. Employers will agree to supervise and mentor trainees who must be in paid employment during this phase. Mentors can only mentor 1 trainee at a time according to DOL rules. The trainees must be full-time on the job.
  5. The project will provide financial and training support to employers to cover the additional costs of supporting trainees, estimated at @ $1,000 per mentor per mentee.


This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Opioid-Impacted Family Support Program HRSA-20-014, Building Futures Together, $2.4M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

Opioid-Impacted Family Support Program (OIFSP) HRSA-20-01.