Program Financing and Administration

How will statewide CHW certification be financed and administered?

Although it is common for certification programs to be financed with applicant fees, it is important to remember that CHWs often come from lower-income communities, so fees and other expenses might be especially burdensome. It will be important to identify ways and means to sustain a statewide CHW certification program over the long term.

Potential actions for stakeholders
  • Convening other stakeholders, especially those who are expecting to see a financial return on investment from CHWs, to identify partnerships that include resources or funding to support administration of the statewide CHW certification program
  • Specifying the organization(s)—which may or may not be within the state government—to officially administer the statewide CHW certification program, and determining what the state CHW association’s role in administration will be
  • Setting certification fees and continuing education requirements that will not be burdensome to CHWs
  • Considering whether certification could be offered at no cost to some or all CHWs because of stakeholder contributions
  • Considering how the other expenses that CHWs incur when completing certification requirements (e.g., travel and child care) could also be covered by the program or partner organizations

Case examples

Two community health workers talking.

CHWs often come from lower-income communities, so it will be important to identify ways to sustain a statewide CHW certification program.

  • The Pennsylvania CHW Policy Task Force recommended that the state’s proposed voluntary CHW certification program be financed through a variety of sources in addition to applicant fees, such as state allocations, federal grants, Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant, grants from the private sector, funds from certification and accreditation fees, or an assessment from all insurers.
  • In Arizona, responsibility for administering the statewide CHW certification program will be split among three partners: the University of Arizona Prevention Research Center is tasked with developing a CHW-led curriculum approval board and training; the Arizona CHW Association will offer a CHW orientation course and process certification applications; and the Arizona Department of Health Services will maintain an online registry of certified CHWs. Arizona stakeholders are also working to develop a free statewide CHW curriculum that could be made available to organizations to train their own staff.
  • In Oregon, the Traditional Health Worker Commission is responsible for certifying five types of workers and training programs, including CHW programs. Currently, the state covers the cost of CHW certification applications.
  • In 2016, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development awarded a grant to the Indiana CHW Association to train, mentor, and place 100 Hispanic, Spanish-speaking CHWs in both traditional healthcare and non-healthcare settings.