The United Health Foundation Training Institute at Washburn Center for Children: Equipping Clinicians with Best Practices

The United Health Foundation Training Institute at Washburn Center for Children provides advanced training to children’s mental health professionals in order to enhance the mental health care experiences of children.

The impact

In partnership with the United Health Foundation, Washburn Center for Children has launched an innovative, children’s mental health training program that will:

  • Enhance training for Washburn Center staff
  • Increase training opportunities for health care professionals working with children throughout the state and region
  • Develop a nationally recognized clinical training site for children’s mental health clinicians
  • This innovative initiative is made possible through a $2.9 million grant from United Health Foundation.

Training matters

Effective training can have a significant impact on the quality of care a child receives. Washburn Center for Children believes investing in comprehensive training for children’s mental health professionals will dramatically increase the number of clinicians in Minnesota who provide high quality services based on best practice standards. This will result in improved client outcomes and satisfaction.

The vision

A structured training program, combined with an intensive, continuous evaluation of mental health outcomes in a children’s community mental health center, is unique and unprecedented. The vision of the United Health Foundation Institute at Washburn Center for Children is to:

  • Improve a child’s clinical outcomes and progress by increasing access to the most effective, evidence based mental health services
  • Transform the training, practice and expertise of the children’s mental health workforce in Minnesota, and
  • Create a replicable national model for integrating children’s mental health evidence-based practices in training, practice and evaluation to enhance the mental health care experience of children across the country.

Evaluating the impact of comprehensive training

Washburn Center has partnered with OptumInsight and the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota to evaluate the impact of training, quality of care, client satisfaction and improvement in a child’s functioning.

Evaluation will include the impact on key cross-system metrics such as academic, child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Evaluation outcomes will be made public as they become available.

A new initiative

The newly established United Health Foundation Training Institute at Washburn Center for Children builds on Washburn Center’s long history of equipping mental health professionals with the best practices of children’s mental health services.

The state-of-the-art training space, featuring advanced technology and 150-person seating, is located in Washburn Center’s new children’s mental health facility, which opened in December 2014.

While many of the 2015 trainings will be internally focused (all Washburn Center therapists will complete a multi-course “Washburn Trained” certification program), several external trainings will be also be held.

To view upcoming trainings visit: