Community Health Workers Training Program

Community Health Workers (CHW) Training Program

Funded by the Health Resources & Services Administration’s (HRSA) Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Paraprofessionals

The Community Health Workers (CHW) Training Program is an opportunity for pre-bachelor’s level students to explore a career in behavioral healthcare. Funded by HRSA’s Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Paraprofessionals, the program offers a full-time paid field work experience at a behavioral health agency paired with training, mentorship, career counseling, and professional development seminars at William James College. The College works with designated partner community health agencies to place participants in their full-time work position. The CHW Training Program will prepare students to apply for certification through the Board of Certification of Community Health Workers within the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  The application fee is covered by the College. In addition to the paid annual salary offered by partner agencies, the program provides a $5,000 stipend to each participant for living expenses.

Behavioral Health Agency Partners: About Your Field Work Placement

The year-long work placement will be with a partnering behavioral health agency that works with unserved and underserved communities. Partnering agencies include Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, Child & Family Services, Community Healthlink, Justice Resource Institute, Northeast Family Services, North Shore Community Health, North Suffolk Mental Health Association, and YOU, Inc. (an affiliate of Seven Hills Foundation).   

A focus of this work will be on increasing knowledge and understanding of the specific concerns of children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth in high need and high demand areas at risk for behavioral health disorders.

Who can apply to the Community Health Workers (CHW) Training Program?

The CHW Program welcomes all pre-bachelor’s level participants. It is designed for the following individuals:

  • Those who are currently employed as paraprofessionals and are interested in being certified as Community Health Workers.
  • Individuals who have no experience as paraprofessionals but are seeking career ladder opportunities in behavioral health with a focus on children and youth.
  • Those who are interested in completing a year of training in integrated, team-based, behavioral health and primary care settings in unserved and underserved communities.

Eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Applicants need to have a high school diploma or GED, or an associate’s degree, or be currently enrolled in college but have not completed their bachelor’s degree.
  • Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the U.S. and need to pass a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check.

Program participants will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment to serve as Community Health Workers or paraprofessionals and motivation to work with children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth with behavioral health challenges
  • High levels of cultural awareness and responsiveness
  • Underrepresentation in the behavioral health field (e.g., first-generation, low-income, etc.)
  • Relevant language proficiency
  • Strong interest in pursuing career ladder opportunities in the behavioral health field

If you are interested in this work and you do have a bachelor’s degree, we recommend you explore our Behavioral Health Service Corps, a program within the Center for Workforce Development at William James College.

Program Format: What to Expect

  • Complete a year-long field work experience as a full-time worker at an approved agency that serves children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth in high need and high demand areas.
  • Provide team-based care as paraprofessionals in integrated behavioral health and primary care settings located in underserved communities.
  • Participate in a Certificate Training Program for Community Health Workers co-led by Justice Resource Institute, and attend other professional development workshops.
  • Meet all employer partners’ expectations and job requirements.
  • Adhere to employers’ policies and procedures for professional conduct and ethical behavior.
  • Comply with all agency partners' COVID-19 vaccination policies and protocols.
  • Actively engage in program evaluation activities that are required by HRSA (i.e., complete surveys and other data collection measures in a timely manner).
  • Obtain a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number for data tracking purposes. 
  • Maintain ongoing communication with the CHW Program staff
  • Perform other tasks, as required by the CHW Program staff

How to Apply

Interested candidates must: 

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all required materials are submitted in a timely manner. Applications for the CHW Training Program are currently being accepted. Enrollment in the program will occur on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

Completed application materials will be reviewed by the William James College staff. Eligible candidates will be invited for an initial interview with the program staff. The interview may be conducted in person or via Zoom. Qualified applicants will be recommended for a 2nd interview with their chosen field site/employer. During the application process, candidates will be asked to rank order their preferred field worksites. They will have the option of interviewing at up to three (3) agencies from the list of approved partners. Once all interviews are conducted, candidates will be informed via email of a final decision regarding the status of their application. 

Why Choose the Community Health Workers Training Program at William James College?

You can make a difference in the lives of children, adolescents, and families in unserved and underserved communities. This program is housed in the Center for Workforce Development at William James College. The Center’s mission is to build and sustain a diverse and culturally competent workforce equipped with the knowledge, skills, and expertise to increase access to high quality mental health care for all.

If you are interested in pursuing a behavioral health career, this is an excellent place to start. William James College offers mentorship and training to support you on your career path.

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