The Long Road From Policy to Practice

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Topic: As behavioral health care policies evolve, based on shifting paradigms and a developing base of evidence, day-to-day practices at the direct service level must change. Workforce development initiatives are a critical component to effect such change yet may be overlooked, underfunded, or implemented in ways that are ineffective. Purpose: This article highlights considerations for training focused on policy, for training issues relevant across recent policy initiatives, and components of effective workforce development initiatives. Sources Used: Sources include the personal experience of the authors and the available literature on education, training, and workforce development, as well as select references related to policy initiatives in psychiatric rehabilitation and behavioral health care. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Until policy initiatives include the necessary funding for and guidance on evidence-based workforce development, they are unlikely to achieve their full promise.

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