Community Health Workers, Promotores, and Parent Mentors: Innovative, Community-Based Approaches to Improving the Health and Healthcare of Children.
Big Ideas: Children in the Southwest.
This report discusses the health challenges faced by children in the Southwest and strategies that community health workers (CHW), promotores, and Parent Mentors can use to substantially improve the health and healthcare of these children. It begins by proposing a conceptual framework for understanding how CHWs, promotores, and Parent Mentors are powerful approaches to improving child health, and discussing barriers and threats to children's health. Findings on the effectiveness of CHWs, promotores, and Parent Mentors are then shared and indicate: CHWs have resulted in improved outcomes for children with asthma; two years after women were visited by CHWs, women were less likely to be married and live with the child's biological father, but more likely to work longer, reported better mental health, have fewer miscarriages and low birth-weight newborns, and had home environments that were more supportive of early learning than their peers; CHWs are substantially more effective in obtaining health insurance for uninsured Latino children than traditional Medicaid and CHIP outreach and enrollment; promotores can be effective agents for improving the health and healthcare of children, particularly for those residing in border areas; Parent Mentors can reduce asthmatic wheezing, asthma exacerbations, emergency room visits, and missed parental work days, while improving parental self-efficacy in recognizing breathing problems controllable at home; and the programs have substantial cost savings. Examples of current CHW, promotores, and Parent Mentor programs in southwestern States are included. 33 references.
immigrants; Children of immigrants; Child health; Service delivery; Parent education; Mentors; Public health services; Child health services