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Perspectives of pediatric community health workers: Roles, successes, and challenges

Rogers HE, Hershey JA, Morone J, Lipman TH, Wilson-Hall L, Anderson K, Hawkes CP
Health Promot Pract

This multicenter qualitative study described the roles of 10 pediatric community health workers (CHWs) in their own words through exploration of the role features, successes, and challenges in pediatric health care settings across three urban U.S. cities (Philadelphia, New York City, and Cincinnati). Individual, semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted. Interviews described prominent features of the pediatric CHW role, which included taking a family-centered approach to goal setting and determining support needed, ensuring family goals stayed at the center of the work, and acting as a trusted figure for families to talk openly with. CHWs described their role as rewarding, believing in the work, and feeling a sense of fulfillment, and felt successful when families had positive outcomes, including when barriers were eliminated, resources were obtained, or independence was demonstrated by families. Challenges CHWs faced in their roles included establishing trust with families, managing the ever-changing family circumstances many families experience due to socioeconomic barriers, and managing limitations of protocol and restrictions within their roles. This study demonstrated numerous considerations for CHW practice in pediatric health care settings, in addition to considerations for pediatric-specific CHW program development and management. The primary policy implication of this study included a basis for increased funding for CHW programs in pediatric health care settings. This study also demonstrated a need for further research on the change CHWs effect within child and family systems outside of health care, such as schools and child welfare agencies.

Rogers HE, Hershey JA, Morone J, et al. Perspectives of pediatric community health workers: roles, successes, and challenges. Health Promot Pract. 2023;24(6):1206-1214. DOI:10.1177/15248399221112866. PMID: 35876335

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Publication year
Resource type
Peer Reviewed Research
Provider Experience of Care
Health Care Professionals
Social Determinant of Health
Not Specified
Study design
Other Study Design