To describe results of a 2008 assessment of Title V workforce competencies and training needs at the state level, and examine preferences and barriers related to available education and training opportunities. A web-based survey was administered May through August, 2008 to Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) program leaders in all 50 states, and U.S. jurisdictions. Forty-nine MCH (96%) and 44 CYSHCN (86%) programs and four territories completed surveys. A major focus of the survey related to competencies in six core domains: Public Health/Title V Knowledge Base, Communication, Critical Thinking, Management Skills, Family Centered Care and Medical Home, and Leadership Development. The top training needs identified by state Title V programs fall into the global category of critical thinking, including skills in MCH data synthesis and translation, in program evaluation, and in systems thinking. The need to enhance personal rather than organizational leadership skills was emphasized. Blended learning approaches (graduate education), and national conferences with skills building workshops (continuing education) were identified as preferred training modalities. Barriers to training included lack of career opportunities, insufficient agency support, and inability to take leave (graduate education), and travel restrictions, release time limitations, costs, and limited geographic access (continuing education). Both the focus of training and preferred training modalities differed from previous MCH workforce survey findings. Given the changing needs expressed by state Title V leaders as well as their training preferences, it is important that current and future graduate education and continuing education approaches be better aligned to meet these needs and preferences.
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