Ballmer Institute shares scope of practice, program objectives

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The Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health invites feedback on its scope of practice and program objectives for its undergraduate program, pending state approval.

The undergraduate program is a workforce innovation aimed at producing bachelor-level child behavioral specialists who promote behavioral health and wellness in children and adolescents.

“The opportunity to create a variety of curricular options, a new profession and new national training model is a once-in-a-career opportunity for most of us. We owe Connie and Steve Ballmer abundant gratitude for this moment,” said Randy Kamphaus, acting executive director of the Ballmer Institute. “We’ve assembled an exceptional team of UO faculty members and researchers to really look at children’s behavioral health from a holistic and affirming perspective. Additionally, we continue to invite community members and stakeholders to share their input at our weekly meetings.”

In addition to the Ballmer Institute affiliated faculty leaders, the institute benefited from the contributions of additional UO faculty members in the College of Education and Department of Psychology in the development of the scope and objectives.

Feedback on the scope and program objectives will be accepted May 10-23.

“It has been truly amazing to watch faculty come together across units to do this work,” Kamphaus said. “Every week, I am more impressed than the last. Although we are not required to share out our work, we know that many individuals are just as excited as we are about the institute. Therefore, we wanted to provide an opportunity for broader stakeholder engagement.”

Thanks to a $425 million gift from Connie and Steve Ballmer, the Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health was launched in March to promote the behavioral health and wellness of children and adolescents. Located in Portland, the institute will place an intentional emphasis on improving access for children and adolescents from historically and persistently underserved communities.

According to the scope of practice document and pending state approval, the institute will launch “a new bachelor’s level profession — child behavioral health specialist, that promotes the behavioral health and wellness of children and adolescents across identities and abilities, from a variety of family structures and backgrounds, in schools, public health, and health care settings.”

Both the bachelor’s degree and a graduate certificate program are under development. Graduate-level course work is expected to start this fall, with the undergraduate program starting in fall 2023, pending state approval.