225621 Project Wings Home Visits: Sending CHWs into the homes of struggling Latino teens to improve the health literacy of their parents

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 11:30 AM - 11:50 AM

Evan Welo, Community Health Specialist , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN
Carolyn Garcia, PhD, MPH, RN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Estefania Alvarez-Zumarraga, Community Health Specialist , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN
Background: Latino adolescents in the U.S. exhibit concerning rates of suicidal ideation, attempts, depressive symptoms, reproduction and high school drop-out rates, compared to their peers. There is a serious need for creative interventions that reduce risks and enhance protective factors, such as parents. Improving parental health literacy may yield healthier familial environments and increased willingness to seek care for mental health concerns. In this CBPR study, we piloted a new Community Health Worker (CHW) intervention. Project Wings Home Visits, a school-based program, sends CHWs into the homes of at-risk students to provide education, outreach, and support to Latino parents. Methods: Latino families enrolled primarily through school staff referrals to receive monthly home visits and telephone support regarding a range of health and social topics (e.g., adolescent mental health, community resources, `parental monitoring, gangs). The CHWs collaboratively developed a resource manual with educational and referral resources to guide visit content although visits were individualized based on parents' educational needs and adolescent concerns. Results: Fifteen families participated; most were low-income and had recently immigrated. Most students were struggling academically or exhibiting risk factors including substance use. The CHWs promoted parental health literacy, and addressed timely needs, including job loss and lack of food. Parents and school staff reported high levels of program satisfaction. Conclusions: A CHW home-visiting model is promising as part of a collaborative team approach to reaching families of at-risk Latino youth and promoting family health literacy, adolescent well-being, and school success.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe 3 benefits to a CHW-led home visiting Latino parent intervention. 2. Identify 2 ways in which a CHW can encourage health literacy in Latino families.

Keywords: Latino Mental Health, Community Health Promoters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am currently a Community Health Specialist working with the University of MN and conducting home visits with Latino families.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.