A Community Health Worker (CHW) is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has a close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the CHW to serve as a liaison between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.
A CHW also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy (American Public Health Association, 2013).
The mission of the community health work profession is rooted in a set of core roles, core values and a specific code of ethics that drive their scope of work and practice within a community. These core roles, core values and code of ethics, embraced by CHWs throughout the profession’s history, are the foundation of community health work’s unique purpose and perspective.
To learn more about the Community Health Worker Core Competencies and Sub-Roles, click here.
To review the Community Health Worker Code of Ethics, click here.