Workforce Issues

Last updated April 2019

Numerous national studies and Presidential Commissions substantiate the magnitude of emotional, behavioral, and developmental disorders in the nation's children and adolescents. Consistently, 16-20% of the population of children and adolescents have some disturbance and 5-9% have “extreme functional impairment.”

There are approximately 8,300 practicing child and adolescent psychiatrists in the US and over 15 million children and adolescents in need of the special expertise of a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Despite the availability of effective treatment, there are average delays of 8-10 years between the onset of symptoms and intervention--critical developmental years in the life of a child. The longer the lag time is between symptom onset and treatment, the more difficult and costly mental illness is to treat and the greater the burden becomes on our public health system. One significant reason for the delays in treatment is the lack of access to trained pediatric mental health professionals.

Given the critical shortages, AACAP aims to increase the child and adolescent psychiatry workforce. Provided below are resources that describe the current state of the workforce, our nation's workforce needs, and the steps that are being taken to address the workforce crisis.

View Workforce Map by State / Counties
Last updated April 2018

Workforce Fact Sheet
Last updated April 2019

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Workforce: Solutions to Improve Access to Care

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Workforce: A Critical Shortage and National Challenge
AACAP Workforce Issues Committee
Published December 2006

A Call to Action: Children Need Our Help!

Strategic Plan
Published November 1, 2002