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Strengthening the Behavioral Health Workforce for Children, Youth, and Families: A Strategic Plan for Connecticut

This strategic plan was developed to guide the State in building a sustainable workforce capable of meeting the behavioral health needs of Connecticut's children, youth, and families.

The report, Strengthening the Behavioral Health Workforce for Children, Youth, and Families: A Strategic Plan for Connecticut:

  • Provides Connecticut with a blueprint for supporting a strong, diverse, and competent workforce to meet the behavioral health needs of children. 
  • Reviews conditions contributing to the current workforce challenges, as well as the strengths in Connecticut's system of care for children. 
  • Includes examples from other states of best practices and innovative solutions that can be applied within Connecticut to address the immediate and long-term needs of the workforce. 
  • Identifies eight recommendations for policy and system changes that emerged from a comprehensive and collaborative process inclusive of workforce, family, faculty, and national expert perspectives.

When we strengthen the behavioral health workforce, children and communities in Connecticut are stronger.

The plan was developed by CHDI in collaboration with the Children’s Behavioral Health Plan Implementation Advisory Board and funding from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF). A diverse group of nine Strategic Plan Advisors with expertise in Connecticut’s system of care for children provided guidance on the process and development of recommendations. Additional input was gathered through a survey of Connecticut providers, families, and others; interviews with 20 experts in the field; and incorporation of feedback collected through a public comment period.

Download the Executive Summary (pdf) 

Download the full report (pdf)


Learn More About Strengthening Connecticut's Behavioral Health Workforce

➡️Read our special blog series exploring specific challenges facing the behavioral health workforce - and possible solutions.

➡️Watch a January 2024 presentation on the strategic plan by co-authors Jason Lang and Aleece Kelly at the CT State Legislature (CT-N).


Related Media Coverage

"To Improve Access and Build Connecticut’s Behavioral Health Workforce, We Need to Talk About Reimbursement Rates." CT By the Numbers (originally published on the CHDI blog), 3/9/24
Op-Ed by President & CEO Jeff Vanderploeg: "CT Can Build Sustainable Behavioral Health Workforce for Families," CT Insider, 1/29/24
"CT makes recommendations to improve children's behavioral health," New England Psychologist, 2/3/24
"New Connecticut Strategy to Address BH Workforce, Youth Care Needs," Mental Health Weekly, 11/13/23
For the People Radio Interview with Jason Lang, Connoisseur Media, 11/19/23 (recording available)
Strengthening the Behavioral Health Workforce: A Strategic Plan for Connecticut,” CT By the Numbers, 11/11/23
"Report: CT needs to bolster child behavioral health system," CT News Service, 11/24/23

Staff Contacts

Jason Lang, Ph.D - Chief Program Officer