Training Programs for Paraprofessionals

Guidelines and Issues
  • Joseph A. Durlak


The importance of paraprofessionals within the mental health field can hardly be overestimated. Paraprofessionals constitute the single largest category of mental health staff; there are an estimated 145,000 paid paraprofessionals in all mental health facilities throughout the country including more than 10,000 in community mental health centers (James, 1979). These figures represent 50.4% and 29.6% of the full-time equivalent positions in these agencies, respectively. Moreover, the number of part-time volunteers participating in helping programs probably exceeds the number in permanent staff positions. Paraprofessionals have become so extensively and intimately involved in the mental health field that the effective delivery of services, particularly in community mental health centers, is often predicated on paraprofessional personpower. Indeed, many of the community projects described elsewhere in this volume rely heavily on paraprofessional change agents.


Community Psychology Community Mental Health Center Apply Behavior Analysis Mental Health Field Mental Health Staff 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph A. Durlak
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Psychology Program, Water Tower CampusLoyola UniversityChicagoUSA

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