Other Key Principles

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CHWs listening to a speaker at an outdoor event.The American Public Health Association has identified a few overarching principles as important in advocating for expanded roles for CHWs:

  • Include CHWs in the development of policies that affect them
  • Minimize barriers of language, education level, citizenship status, and life experience
  • Encourage contracting with community-based organizations for CHWs’ services
  • Incorporate the full range of CHW roles into positions

For more information, visit the following link: http://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/public-health-policy-statements/policy-databaseExternal.

[SPEAKER]

The American Public Health Association has identified a few overarching principles as important in advocating for expanded roles for CHWs. The first two have been addressed in previous sessions:

  • Include CHWs in the development of policies that affect them
  • Minimize barriers to CHW training and employment related to language, education level, citizenship status, and life experience

The third point concerns CHWs’ ability to maintain their sense of accountability to their communities. One way to address this issue is to invite providers and other potential employers to contract with community-based organizations rather than employing CHWs directly. This way, the provider and the community-based organization can work out the provider’s institutional needs in their agreement, and the CHWs can work out how best to achieve those needs in a way that is sensitive to the needs of the community.

The final point recognizes the tendency of past initiatives, especially short-term projects, to call on CHWs to perform narrowly defined interventions. As we learn more, we are realizing that we can maximize the benefits of CHW services only by cultivating CHWs’ ability to exercise a full range of roles and competencies.