History of The Collaborative

The Collaborative was founded to promote the development of a system of care that is based on youth, families', and community priorities. 

The Washington State University Behavioral Health Workforce Collaborative (The Collaborative) was formed in the fall of 2015, with the intention of improving workforce retention, training a diverse workforce, and increasing the use of Evidence Based Practices and Promising Practices in the behavioral health field in Washington state. 

The Collaborative is based on System of Care values and principals, meaning practices are youth-centered, family-focused, and community-based. The locus of services, as well as management and decision-making responsibility, rests at the community level, with agencies, programs, and services that are responsive to the cultural, racial, and ethnic differences of the populations they serve.

To accomplish this, the Collaborative convened a group of invested stakeholders in 2015 and 2016, including family, youth, system partners, providers, community leaders, system representatives and others, to evaluate system-level needs and strengths, and to identify strategies for workforce improvement. 

The Workforce Collaborative is Committed to:

  • Supporting sustainability and capacity building of the Collaborative, as a mechanism to provide workforce development in children’s behavioral health across Washington State.
  • Promoting System of Care values. 
  • Delivering, hosting and developing educational offerings for the professional development of children’s behavioral health service providers and other stakeholders.
  • Educating students about the needs of this population.
  • Disseminating knowledge about the outcomes of intensive services for youth with complex behavioral health needs and their families.