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Strengthening Diversity in the Mental Health Workforce: A Driver for System Change 7 th International Conference on Social Work Los Angeles June 24, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Strengthening Diversity in the Mental Health Workforce: A Driver for System Change 7 th International Conference on Social Work Los Angeles June 24, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strengthening Diversity in the Mental Health Workforce: A Driver for System Change 7 th International Conference on Social Work Los Angeles June 24, 2013

2 California Social Work Education Center started at UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare, to strengthen the child welfare workforce with funding from Title IV-E Federal, State DSS, and matching funds from participating universities.

3  A consortium of 21 schools of social work, county departments of social services (CWDA), county mental health departments (CMHDA), the California Department of Social Services, and the California Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers  CalSWEC’s workforce development programs:  child welfare (undergrad, grad, and in-service training);  mental health (graduate); and  aging (under construction).

4 MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT (MHSA or PROP. 63) 1% tax on income >$1 million to transform the public mental health system to one focused on client/family- centered care and valuing wellness, recovery, and resiliency in all services. Expands mental health services in five program areas: (1) Children’s systems of care; (2) Adult and Older Adult systems of care (3) Prevention and early intervention (4) Innovative programs (5) Workforce, Education and Training

5 Address critical MH workforce shortages Retool the existing workforce to create and sustain system transformation Create/strengthen career pathways for consumers and family members.

6  MHSA funding since 2005 for stipends and program activities.  $5.8 million per year through CalSWEC to schools of social work throughout California for:  Stipends ($18,500) for up to 196 final-year MSW students  Program operating costs, including curriculum implementation.

7 Mental Health Directors, social work educators, and practitioners have collaboratively developed:  a set of core competencies to prepare graduate students for careers in public behavioral health services (2003);  a revised set of competencies to reflect new CSWE core competencies and practice indicators and strengthen recovery knowledge, skills, and abilities (2011).

8 PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY AND PAYBACK OBLIGATION Full-time MSW students in their final year who demonstrate strong interest in careers in public mental health systems are eligible. Each student commits to one year of employment in a county or contract behavioral health agency following graduation.

9 MHP PROGRAM EVALUATION  Student/Graduate Characteristics and Employment Patterns  Data drawn from administrative records  Who are the students?  Do they meet the payback obligation, and how?  Retention post-payback – do they stay?  Curriculum Development and Implementation  How do schools implement core competencies?  Are MHP graduates prepared to work in recovery-oriented mental health systems?

10 FINDINGS (Glimmers of System Change)  The program contributes to the diversity of the mental health workforce.  66% of the 2005 – 2012 cohorts belong to ethnic minorities; Latino students comprise the largest population (31%)  57% of the cohorts speak at least one language in addition to English; Spanish is spoken most often. Graduates are meeting their payback obligations  92% of the graduates of the cohorts completed their employment obligations; 55% worked in county-operated mental health agencies, and 45% worked in contract agencies. Graduates are continuing their careers in public mental health.  69% of the cohorts were still at their payback agency in  53% were in county agencies and 47% were employed in contract agencies.

11 FINDINGS (Continued…) Curricula in schools of social work are changing to address mental health competencies  Competencies are “woven” into foundation and advanced courses;  Many schools build student field learning contracts around competencies Schools are creating pathways for greater collaboration among faculty and with agencies  Schools have developed specialized seminar courses for MH P stipend students,  MHP Project Coordinators are involved in their school/department curriculum committees  PCs and Deans/Directors are increasingly interacting with local behavioral health agencies in their areas, and with statewide commissions.. A 2011 study by Loma Linda University explored how satisfied graduates, faculty, and employing agency supervisors felt about the preparation graduates received in school for working in the behavioral health field. Findings indicate that graduates are satisfied overall with their educational preparation for jobs, and that schools need to address some critical gaps (e.g. evidence-based practice, documentation, evaluation research).

12  Foster, G., Morris, M., Sirojudin, S. Mental Health Workforce Change Through Social Work Education: A California Case Study. (2013) Journal of Social Work Education, 49 (3)  at: 080/ http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/ /

13  Gwen Foster, MSW  Director, Mental Health Program  CalSWEC   Thank You!


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