Training & Technical Assistance

The Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD) provides exemplary training in a variety of areas including early intervention, developmental disabilities, mental health, advocacy, and leadership programs. A wide range of formats are utilized including continue education programming, clinical practicum, conferences, workshops, distance learning, and professional preparation.

The faculty of the GUCCHD partner with service providers, government agencies, consumer and advocacy organizations, and universities to develop and implement a wide range of training programs. The faculty members of the GUCCHD are highly experienced teachers and group facilitators and possess a wide range of expertise regarding children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities.

The training programs offered by the GUCCHD are grounded in the philosophy that services to children and youth with disabilities and special health care needs should be provided in an interdisciplinary, family-centered, community-based, culturally-competent system of care and that providers should assume leadership roles in effecting system change at the local, state, and national level by providing advocacy, technical assistance, training, and research and policy development opportunities.

Training opportunities available at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development include:




University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Annual Conference. The GUCCHD UCEDD sponsors an annual one-day conference focusing on an issue related to individuals with disabilities. The UCEDD partners with community based programs offering service providers, family members, and consumer’s information on contemporary practices for individuals with disabilities.

Biannual Training Institutes is offered through the National Technical Assistance for Children’s Mental Health and is a week long, biannual training covering a wide range of topics on children’s mental health including policy, research, and clinical services.



Advocating for Ourselves trains individuals with disabilities and their family members in the skills needed to negotiate complex service delivery systems especially services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Skills necessary to successfully advocate for specific services, policy formation, and program development are included.

Bright Futures is a cross-agency training program using Bright Futures and Systems of Care principles to promote a public health approach to mental health. Partnering with states we deliver this training in three phases to community based teams. The participants enhance their own skills and learn how to build community service delivery systems through interactive learning sessions, case studies, and planning opportunities.

DATA COUNTS! Using Evaluation and Information Systems to Build Systems of Care provides the “nonevaluator” with an overview of evaluation basics and information systems. Key topics include the various uses, purposes, and benefits of conducting evaluations within systems of care, involving diverse stakeholders, theories of change, continuous quality improvement, and the multiple uses of data. The course involves a mix of short lectures, case studies, and some individual and small group exercises. Participants will develop evaluation plans, using the information discussed, with examples from their own work.

Facilitating Together focuses on the skills necessary to enhance the collaborative decision-making of community groups, professional teams, work groups and others who work together to solve problems within complex systems of care.

Family Centered Decision-Making in Child Welfare Mediation facilitates family and youth participation. Professional mediators teach skills in collaborative decision-making towards improved outcomes.

Family Court In-service Training. The UCEDD offers monthly in-service training to interdisciplinary personnel who interact with the Family Court Division including attorneys, justices, social service personnel, education, juvenile justice, and health.

From the Beginning: Building an Early Childhood Mental Health System of Care prepares leaders to collaborate in the development of an early childhood mental health system of care. Based upon an early childhood system of care framework developed to help states, communities, and neighborhoods conceptualize, organize, and integrate services and supports to meet the mental health needs of young children and their families, this course will highlight promising approaches used in these settings, such as mental health consultation, family-mentors, and evidence-based practices.

How to Hire a Leader. Hiring individuals who can serve in leadership positions in systems of care is a challenging task. Most job descriptions do not typically outline the skills that are necessary to lead change efforts. This half-day course presents a set of leadership competencies employers should be looking for in hiring family and professional leaders in systems change efforts. The competencies focus on skill sets related to vision and values, risk taking, shared decision making, and leading change efforts. Participants engaged in interactive activities to: review elements of the leadership framework; reflect on and identify their personal leadership strengths; describe ways they have applied their personal leadership qualities, skills, and strategies in their work; and conceptualize hiring practices that focus on leadership strengths.

Leadership Academy is designed for families and mental health professionals at all levels of community, local, state, and federal government. The Academy is designed to enhance awareness about the nature and practice of leadership and commitment to the leadership role, learn new ways to define and understand leadership roles within systems of care and create effective strategies to sustain oneself as a leader and mobilize people to make a difference in the lives of children and families.

Mediating Together. The Conflict Management Program at the GUCCHD has developed and implemented a curriculum to train neutrals to mediate in education, child welfare, and other child and family serving areas. This course can provide participants an overview of mediation and and skill building for those who will be mediators.

Negotiating Together offers families, professionals, government leaders, and advocates the opportunity to learn the process and skills necessary to engage in a collaborative or interest based negotiation. Participants explore the theory of conflict and dispute resolution, and the negotiation styles and the communication skills that lead to interest based decisions.

Policy Academy. The Policy Academies on Developing Systems of Care: Transforming Mental Health Care For Children and Families Through Planning, Policy and Practice are a major national initiative to assist states, federally recognized tribes, and jurisdictions with the planning and implementation of public policies that ensure that children and families with complex needs access the services and supports necessary to be successful in their homes, their schools, and in their communities. Delegations from selected states, federally recognized tribes, and jurisdictions receive support with conceptualizing, planning, and implementing their public policy initiatives that impact practices and outcomes for children and their families.

Primer Hands-On is a capacity enhancement initiative for leaders involved in building systems of care for children with emotional disorders and their families. The components of Primer Hands-On include: a two-day capacity-building session based on the organizing framework and strategic approach to building systems of care for children with emotional disorders and their families that is described in Building Systems of Care: A Primer by Sheila A. Pires; a skill building curriculum; and an ongoing network for peer support and technical assistance linked via list serve.

Transformational Leadership: Creating Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Systems of Care is a two-day training in which participants define and interpret the conceptual frameworks and guiding principles of both transformative leadership and cultural competence; apply these concepts and principles to the current and prevailing situations in their communities; analyze a current leadership challenge though this worldview; develop a plan of action for continuing a personal "leadership journey" that embraces this framework; and develop a system of care plan of action for leadership to promote the next level of cultural and linguistic competence in your community.


Distance Learning

Contemporary Practices in Early Intervention (CPEI) is a distance learning curriculum and resource for early intervention service providers across the United States. The program, funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services is a series of comprehensive, evidenced based training modules designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of education, health care, therapeutic and social service providers in the early intervention system.

Center for Cultural and Linguistic Competence Curriculum Enhancement Modules is to increase the capacity of programs to incorporate principles and practices of cultural and linguistic competence into all aspects of their leadership training The Curricula Enhancement Modules center on cultural awareness, cultural self-assessment, communicating in a multicultural environment, and public health in a multicultural environment.

National TA Center Webinar Series. To respond to the technical assistance needs of state and community representatives from the multiple child-serving systems and families, a series of conference calls is scheduled yearly bringing together a panel of experts discussing salient issues facing today’s service providers, administrators, and policy makers.


Professional Preparation

Clinical Practicum. The faculty at the GUCCHD provides clinical and field-work experiences for university graduate professional preparation programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and psychology. Student therapists are here for a minimum of 12 weeks up to 1 year participating in clinical, administrative, policy and research activities.

Fellowships are offered to qualified national and international professionals from a variety of disciplines. These intense training programs enhance the clinical skills of practicing professionals and develop leadership skills in service coordination, policy development, and research.

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND). In collaboration with Children’s National Medical Center we offer the Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s program LEND program. The LEND program is an intense interdisciplinary program of clinical services, didactic presentations, research and policy development.

Policy Internships are available to Georgetown University students. This internship is individualized to meet the needs of the intern and can focus on children with mental health issues, developmental disabilities, or cultural competence. Many technical assistance and training activities are woven into this internship.


Continuing Education

Continuing Education is offered by faculty of the GUCCHD in a variety of areas to assist clinicians/service providers in creating state of the art, culturally and linguistically competent practice environments for individuals with developmental and other disabilities throughout the lifespan. Please contact Training Director for more information.