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Enrollment Now Open: First-Ever Distance Learning Graduate Certificate in Children's Mental Health

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Graduate Certificate in Children's Mental Health Course Offerings:

  • Children’s Mental Health Services
  • Family-Centered Interdisciplinary Practice: Systems of Care
  • Cultural Competency in Children’s Mental Health
  • Mental Health Informatics
  • Survey in Mental Health Planning, Evaluation, and Accountability
  • Financing of Children’s Mental Health
  • Leadership within Systems of Care
  • Program Development & Implementation in Children’s Mental Health
  • Epidemiology and Prevention in Children’s Mental Health
  • Child and Adolescent Psychopathology & Resilience
  • Special Topics in Planning Evaluation and Accountability


flyerBeginning August 2006, the University of South Florida will offer the first-ever distance learning graduate certificate in children's mental health to help prepare leaders in Systems of Care.

Systems of Care organize a network of mental health and support services to serve the growing numbers of children whose emotional, behavioral, and developmental needs are not being met. However, implementation of effective systems of care that allow children to participate fully in their own communities is a complex endeavor. This requires a great number of qualified professionals to develop, establish, and evaluate effective systems of care.

The certificate’s course content provides current knowledge about effective service delivery to graduate students seeking specialized training in children’s mental health, and professionals in need of retooling in order to keep pace with the fundamental changes that have taken place in the field.

A variety of distance learning methods will enrich students' learning experiences as they encounter diverse perspectives of faculty, both within USF and external to the university, as well as those of national experts recruited to address special topics through seminars and electronic discussions. This will be particularly useful to rural areas, where the recruitment and retention of child welfare workers is especially problematic.

"One of the most vexing challenges facing the children’s mental health field has been how to prepare future generations of professionals to develop, establish, and evaluate effective systems of care,” said Robert M. Friedman, PhD, Director of the Research & Training Center for Children’s Mental Health. “Through combining the expertise of our faculty with the contributions of other universities, and using distance learning technologies, we hope that we can help produce the children’s mental health leaders of the future.”

The graduate certificate is sponsored by the Department of Child and Family Studies, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, USF, home to the Research and Training Center for Children's Mental Health. The Certificate program was conceived by the faculty of the Center, who participate in the Systems of Care Professional Training Consortium, an inter-university initiative designed to bridge the gap between University Education and practice in children's mental health.

For all students interested in enrolling in courses for the fall of 2006, enrollment is from April 17 - September 1, 2006. For additional information, visit the USF Graduate Certificate in Children's Mental Health website, the Systems-of-Care Curricula website, or contact Carol MacKinnon-Lewis at 813-974-2075, or cmackinnon@fmhi.usf.edu, or Christine Totura at 813-974-5058 or ctotura@fmhi.usf.edu.

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