CHW Model Best Practice Toolkits

Community Health Worker Model Best Practice Toolkit for Designing, Implementing and Showing Impact

The Center for Community Health Alignment convened both Community Health Worker (CHW) subject matter experts and CHWs for over a year and a half period to identify best practice strategies for designing, implementing and showing the impact of the Community Health Worker (CHW) Models. A series of  toolkits have been developed in collaboration with Community Health Workers and CHW allies with extensive expertise in CHW model implementation in both community-based and healthcare settings. Additionally, CCHA has worked to co-create population-focused toolkits to include Perinatal CHW models and Rural Health CHW models. It is our hope that organizations will find the best practices and resources beneficial to designing effective programs across diverse population-based and geographic areas.

The National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) and  the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) recently released a toolkit for featuring several tools and resources developed by our Community Health Worker Institute and our CHW ambassadors. Read more.

Section I: Designing Community Health Worker Programs

This toolkit section will help you with:

  • Preparing your team to implement CHW programs.
  • Finding the right CHWs for population served.
  • Recruiting, hiring, and onboarding CHWs.
  • CHW training and continuing education.

Section II: Working Effectively with Community Health Workers

This toolkit section will help you with:

  • Developing new or revising existing workflows.
  • Assessing individual and community needs and identifying populations that CHWs can serve.
  • Establishing CHW Caseloads.
  • Documenting CHW Activities.
  • Establishing effective team communication and feedback loops.

Section III: Understanding Screening and Responding to Social Determinants of Health

This toolkit section will help you with:

  • Facilitation of a planning process for screening and responding to SDOH needs.
  • Assessment for fit for organizations to determine which screening tool(s) provide the best fit based on individual needs (e.g., identifying domains to screen for).
  • Assessment of organizational capacity to address SDOH (organizational services, resources and closing the loop on referrals).

Section IV: Evaluating a Community Health Worker Program

This toolkit section will help you with:

  • Choosing the right information to collect and report.
  • Selecting the appropriate type of evaluation to fit the goals of your organization.
  • Understanding ways to disseminate your evaluation reports.

Perinatal CHW Toolkit

This toolkit focuses on perinatal health and will instruct community leaders on how to find the ideal fit for families, the best practices for perinatal CHWs, the resources and data that you will need to support PCHWs, and mentoring programs to help you along the way.

Why focus on the perinatal period in South Carolina?

The health of infants and mothers serves as an indicator, of the overall health of a community. In South Carolina, 364 babies died in 2020 before reaching their first birthday and approximately 14 mothers died in the perinatal period.  Our rates of infant and maternal deaths are significantly higher than the national rate.

In South Carolina, we lose a baby every day and a mom every month. 

Many of these deaths are avoidable.

We can and must do better.

There are clear racial inequities in infant and maternal mortality – African-American babies and mothers die at more than twice the rate of whites. Racial disparities in prematurity and low birthweight, the most common cause of infant mortality, persist even when African-Americans don’t have other common risks (such as tobacco use, obesity, chronic diseases, Medicaid eligibility, or low education level).

It’s clear that improving birth outcomes, and particularly racial inequities in birth outcomes, is a complicated and dynamic challenge that may not be solved through clinical care, behavioral change, or social programs alone. This is why pairing perinatal families with CHWs is a promising intervention – CHWs tailor their efforts to each family’s own strengths, aspirations, and needs, and can help each family navigate through the intense adjustments of the perinatal period and services available to them.

Perinatal CHWs Programs in South Carolina

BirthMatters’ community-based doulas provide individually tailored, culturally congruent care and advocacy for pregnant and postpartum participants through information, education, and physical, social, and emotional support.

SC Office of Rural Health / Family Solutions (SCORH / FS) provides targeted case management, outreach and health education services to pregnant and postpartum women and their infants in four rural, underserved counties of South Carolina (Orangeburg, Allendale, Bamberg, and Hampton).

 PASOs supports Latino communities throughout South Carolina with CHWs that focus on education, advocacy, and empowerment with families.Their CHWs are all bilingual and bicultural community leaders who go through PASOs’ 80-hour CHW training that is accredited by the SC Community Health Worker Credentialing Council.