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Outreach and International Affairs
sharing the best of Virginia Tech by working side by side with communities throughout the world

Behavioral Health and Developmental Services partners with Richmond Center to help those in need

Janet Lung, director of Child and Family Services at the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), has partnered with the Virginia Tech Richmond Center on workforce development initiatives for more than five years.

Lung, a licensed clinical social worker, holds a graduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Social Work and has completed some post-graduate coursework at Virginia Tech.

Led by Commissioner James W. Stewart, the DBHDS funds and oversees community services for those with and at risk of mental illness, serious emotional disturbances, intellectual disabilities, or substance abuse disorders. The department works to "promote dignity, choice, recovery, and the highest possible level of participation in work, relationships, and all aspects of community life" for the individuals it serves.

For several years, the department has worked with a broad network of stakeholders to enhance community-based care for individuals, bring about infrastructure improvements to state facilities, and change the way services are delivered. Recently, the DBHDS began working with state and local leaders to determine what types of services will be needed in the future.

The DBHDS and the Virginia Tech Richmond Center collaborate to offer conferences, training sessions, and technical assistance meetings, including a series of Systems of Care and Treatments that Work for Youth conferences. These conferences gather together government representatives, family members, and professionals. Each conference features a nationally known speaker on a topic of interest to Virginia’s youth.

Lung and commissioner Stewart are joined by other professionals in carrying out the work of the DBHDS:

Katharine Hunter, a graduate of Virginia Tech, is also an M.S.W. graduate of the V.C.U. School of Social Work, has a background in services for youth who are involved with the Juvenile Justice System. Katharine has also worked for the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Pamela Fisher holds the Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia and has also worked for the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services and Office of Comprehensive Services. Pam is accomplished in developing community systems of care for children and families.

Malcolm King holds the Master of Rehabilitation Counseling from V.C.U. and is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. Malcolm has expertise in adolescent substance abuse treatment services, family support services and has previously worked for the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice Services.