Building the talent pipeline in behavioral healthcare

Lancaster County youth ages 14-21 in foster care are one of the most vulnerable populations. These teens and young adults have endured the trauma of abuse and neglect, and the subsequent trauma of being removed from their homes. In fact, many of these children have been in the foster care system for years, suffering secondary trauma of multiple placements and prolonged uncertainty.  As a result, these youth often require comprehensive behavioral healthcare.

By Anna Kennedy, Executive Director

At LOHF, we are tackling Two Big Questions. Big Question 1 is, “How will we become more sharply focused on building the talent pipeline in behavioral health to elevate mental well-being of youth and children in Lancaster County?”

What is a talent pipeline?

Talent pipeline refers to a steady stream of qualified applicants for a position. Strategic focus is required to cultivate a talent pipeline. This includes planning for organizational growth and identifying emerging leaders.

Our Approach

We approach the question from a big-picture, strategic view of the challenges and opportunities of having enough qualified professionals to support the behavioral healthcare needs of youth and children, age birth through 25. This includes exploring how we might interest students, recent graduates, and those who want to become licensed providers, in establishing themselves in Lancaster County.

For many years, LOHF has funded nursing scholarships and continuing medical education. We have helped osteopathic family medicine residents in family understand children’s behavioral health. Now, we’re taking things a huge step forward by gathering our grantees and others to the table for insight to answering this important question.

What we are learning

From our grantees and others, we are learning about:

  • The barriers to supervision of college graduates, required to become licensed behavioral health providers.
  • Training collaborative models to provide supervision and encourage emerging professionals to establish their work in Lancaster County.
  • The value of clinical rotations, preceptorships, and other possibilities for behavioral and physical healthcare providers to understand the needs and opportunities in behavioral healthcare for youth and children. 

We want to ensure that Lancaster County is attractive to qualified candidates entering the workforce. We want to welcome them to become part of our vibrant Lancaster County community, and provide quality behavioral healthcare for our youth and children.

Let’s do this together

Answering this Big Question about the talent pipeline is key to elevating the mental well-being of youth and children in Lancaster County. And we must do it together.

If you would like to help us tackle this Big Question, let us know. We welcome your insight in the discussion. Contact Executive Director Anna Kennedy by e-mail, or phone (717) 397-8722.