Community Health Workers (CHWs) play a key role in a team approach to serving Healthy Start families and communities. Healthy Start CHWs are frontline public health workers who are trusted members of or have close relationships with the community served. CHWs work to establish and maintain trust with Healthy Start participants, and help participants access and connect to health and social services in the community. CHWs go by many names in Healthy Start programs, including navigator, parent advocate, family educator, outreach worker, and other titles.

Healthy Start CHWs:

  • Help participants to practice healthy behaviors, increase their health knowledge, and gain self-confidence, self-sufficiency, and the ability to advocate for themselves and their families.
  • Offer ongoing support and a listening ear to participants and serve as role models, too.
  • Engage in a range of activities such as outreach and participant recruitment, participant screening and assessment, health education, care coordination/service navigation, and community education and engagement.

This page was developed to have a dedicated place to access resources and information related to CHWs in Healthy Start. It serves as a repository of resources, examples from the field, and online trainings to help you engage participants in your Healthy Start program.


Check out the videos below to hear from Healthy Start CHWs.


In this video, Becky, a Healthy Start community health worker from Northern Plains Healthy Start, talks about some of the special roles and skills of Healthy Start community health workers. (1 min)


Watch this video of Dionne, a Community Health Worker from Strong Beginnings, describe a typical day working as a Healthy Start CHW. (2 mins)


In this video, Tina, a community health worker at Northern Plains Healthy Start, talks about her typical day and the different ways she interacts with Healthy Start Participants. (1 min)


Learn more about the free, online Healthy Start CHW Course.

The Healthy Start CHW Course provides baseline (introductory) training toward the achievement of perinatal health competencies and core competencies needed to fulfill the roles and responsibilities of a CHW in the Healthy Start program. If you are interested in learning more about the course, or to sign up, visit the course overview page.


Haelthy Start Commuity Health Worker Course