Module 1: Community Health Workers
Community health worker (CHW) is an umbrella term describing public health and/or social service workers who are close to and serve members of the community by helping them to adopt healthy behaviors. They may work for pay or volunteer in association with a local agency, organization, or healthcare system. They usually share ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, values, and life experiences with the community members they serve. CHWs are:
- Selected by the community
- Responsive to the needs of community members
- Trained in context of health interventions
- Recognized by health services and certification authorities
- Not necessarily certified as professional or paraprofessional
CHWs and their duties are as diverse as the communities they serve, and CHWs are dependent on those communities for support.