Our Work

Behavioral Health Workforce Development


CHDI is working with the State of Connecticut, providers, youth, families, and Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) to find solutions to address the children's behavioral health workforce shortage and recommend strategies to ensure a sustainable workforce for the future. We are doing this through the following three state-funded initiatives:

Workforce Development Strategic Plan

CHDI in collaboration with the Children’s Behavioral Health Plan Implementation Advisory Board and funding from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) developed a strategic plan to guide the State in building a sustainable workforce capable of meeting the behavioral health needs of Connecticut's children, youth, and families.


The final plan, Strengthening the Behavioral Health Workforce for Children, Youth, and Families: A Strategic Plan for Connecticut was published in November 2023. It includes system, policy and practice, short- and long-term recommendations regarding the workforce pipeline, recruitment, retention, diversity strategies, and competency areas to strengthen.  View the plan. 

In developing the plan, CHDI conducted extensive stakeholder engagement, inclusive of families and family advocates, providers, state agency leadership, researchers, and professional associations, as well as a review of best practices and innovative models in other states to identify recommendations to include in the strategic plan.

Workforce: Online Training Coordinating Center

CHDI is serving as the state’s Children’s Behavioral Health Workforce Development Coordinating Center and developing an asynchronous and live training portal to increase knowledge and skills related to children’s behavioral health. CHDI has conducted a scan of currently available training to identify gaps and is developing 4-6 new training modules annually to fill those gaps. Continuing education units will be offered for the completion of each training. A survey on the learner’s experience will inform the project’s evaluation and guide quality improvement activities for the initiative.


CT Health Horizons

CHDI is providing behavioral health content expertise to the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) as part of the state's CT Health Horizons project. CT Health Horizons is a three-year project funded by the Governor’s office to address workforce shortages in the fields of nursing and social work. The initiative provides funding to colleges and universities to expand faculty and provide tuition support for students while creating strategic workforce partnerships. CHDI will provide the following guidance and support to CSCU for the project:

  1. Support innovative projects proposed by BSW/MSW programs intended to strengthen hiring pipelines, share resources, and design flexible programs for students and faculty
  2. Assess statewide data on current and prospective social worker staffing needs as well as higher education needs
  3. Identify best practices to address workforce shortages, and develop sustainable mechanisms to track workforce supply and demand
  4. Produce an annual, publicly available report on the state’s social work landscape and progress in implementing best practices.

View CHDI's Policy Brief, "Who Will Do the Work? Strengthening the Children's Behavioral Health Workforce."