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Archival Content: 1999-2005

Training Doing the Work

 

Down to the CORE

Reprinted from the Winter 2005 issueLink to a Non-CDC site of Village Drum, a publication of the Community Health Awareness Group (CHAG).

HAG’s new outreach worker training program, The CORE Project, kicked off last year. This completely new Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) sponsored training now meets the specific needs of those individuals who work on the streets doing prevention outreach. The training program was based on a needs assessment and research with an original design that provides the needed skills for outreach.

This new training is not just an HIV 101 “with safety stuff sprinkled in,” said CHAG’s Director of Substance Abuse Services, Harry Simpson, who designed the CORE program. In fact, he said, “We don’t teach HIV. What we teach are the skills that people need to work in the streets – engagement skills, community observation, how to communicate with folks in the street, and how to market their programs.”

The curriculum was developed by Orin Johnson, MA, who had both the education and the experience to develop a curriculum based on the research that had been done previously. Johnson left CHAG in July ’04 for a position out of state; and Benita Tucker has recently taken over management of the program.

The 3-day course includes didactics and exercises, demos and skills-building role plays. “We also take our participants into the field where they perform community outreach with a trained supervisor,” said Simpson. “This provides an opportunity for instant feedback, so the new skill can be incorporated and practiced during the next engagement.” He said the evaluations indicate that participants are increasing their knowledge significantly, in some cases from 20% in pretests to 90-100% in post-testing.

All of the outreach workers who are certified by MDCH – even those who have taken previous training – will have to take this new CHAG training to keep their certification. “ I am confident that this training will change the way outreach is done in this state,” said Simpson.

 

 

 

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