The University of Washington’s Evidence Based Practice Institute (UW EBPI) developed a university based Workforce Initiative in 2009 to address a gap between student interest in providing EBP’s and availability of children’s mental health training to use those practices. The development of an empirically supported foundation of programs and practices with new and existing direct service providers was supported by HB 1088 and subsequently E2SHB 2536/RCW 43.20C.020. The initial objective of the University Workforce Initiative focused on graduate students from interdisciplinary programs at the University of Washington through graduate courses and a monthly lecture series. It has subsequently expanded to include an inter-university taskforce focused on disseminating evidence-based practices in multiple venues of mental healthcare advanced training.
Washington State has invested a significant amount of energy and resources into increasing the use of Research and Evidence based Practice (R/EBP) to treat youth involved with behavioral health, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems. There are similar initiatives in place for treating adults with mental health issues as well using empirically supported interventions. Implementation of these interventions requires additional workforce training, which many organizations are struggling to provide. Consequently, the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery in the Department of Social and Health Services asked the University of Washington to assess to what extent higher education institutions within Washington State are educating a workforce capable of delivering R/EBP’s. This report provides a brief overview of the results from a survey which was distributed to universities and colleges throughout Washington State.