Harmonizing the CHW and social work relationship to advance health equity Presentation

Authors: Wilkinson, G., Smithwick J., Aguilera-Steinert, J., Keane, J., Zatony, M., Wachman, M., and Cottoms, N.
Year: 2020
State: NatDoc: National Document
Website link: https://apha.confex.com/apha/2020/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/481703
Publicly Available: Yes
Certification: CHW role scope of practice
Evidence Generation: Documentation of how CHWs can work within care teams, General other, Results from pilots studies etc. that aren't published in formal literature
Sustainable Financing: Documentation of how CHWs can work within care teams, Surveys and assessment tools to define and develop workforce
Workforce Development: Data sharing between social services and clinical teams, General other (including mention of “employment practices”), Outreach education and TA to employers on CHW generally

Evidence indicates CHWs encounter resistance from social workers in various contexts, due to concern about CHWs displacing social workers as a primary workforce involved in addressing non-medical factors underlying preventable and costly illness. Health care providers may consider CHWs as less expensive alternatives to social workers for assessing health-related social needs, identifying community-based resources, and making referrals. Respective roles for CHWs and social workers in care coordination and behavioral health care integration are, similarly, subjects of innovation, promise, and concern, depending on perspective. The authors comprise a mix of CHWs and social workers who will present results of a literature review and exploration of promising practice models to highlight opportunities for harmonizing the CHW and social work relationship. This interactive oral session will feature CHW presenters. The authors will demonstrate how advancing health equity and the objectives of health care reform depends in part on a cooperative relationship between the two professions, both of which are marginalized—in different measures and ways—within a health care system driven by provider concerns over financial performance.

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