January 2002

Grant Results

National Program

New Jersey Health Initiatives Program

SUMMARY

In 1995, the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey, located in Camden, N.J., developed the Community Health Group program.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Jersey Health Initiatives national program (for more information see Grant Results).

In the Community Health Group program, low-income Hispanic women, particularly welfare recipients, were recruited and trained to provide quality, culturally sensitive home health care services for the elderly and disabled.

The women received 1,500 hours of paraprofessional training conducted by the center's staff with the assistance of trainers from the Technical Institute of Camden, an adult vocational training school.

Key Results

  • Some 31 students passed the nursing home health aide certification and clinical exam, and received job placement services.
  • Many of the project's graduates were offered employment in the home health field, with assistance from the project's job development and case management services.
  • Graduates worked either full-time or part-time, with an average of 33.8 hours per week of service.
  • The center provided ongoing assistance to graduates through a family support group focusing on life skills training such as conflict resolution, communication, and assertiveness.

Funding
RWJF provided a $238,939 grant to support the project.

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
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THE PROBLEM

From 1984 to 1994, Camden County, N.J.'s Hispanic community grew by 57 percent. With this growth, health and employment issues have surfaced as the two most difficult issues facing Hispanic women, according to the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey.

Camden combines a disproportionately high number of low-income and unemployed Hispanic women with a growing number of increasingly frail and home-bound elderly, particularly in the Hispanic population, and a rapidly expanding home health care industry that seldom serves Hispanics. These factors made it an appropriate setting for an initiative to address the home health care needs of the Hispanic elderly while also providing employment opportunities for Hispanic women.

The Hispanic Family Center has been providing a variety of health and human services to the City of Camden since 1974. It is the only comprehensive bilingual and bicultural human services agency for residents of South Jersey. The center specializes in developing model programs to prepare Hispanic women to become self-sufficient.

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THE PROJECT

The Hispanic Family Center developed the Community Health Group program to train low-income Hispanic women as home health aides for homebound elderly and disabled Hispanics in Camden County, providing bilingual and culturally sensitive health services, and to assist them in finding employment.

Working with an advisory board composed of representatives from area hospitals, home care agencies, private businesses, financial and educational institutions, and a welfare agency, the project sought to recruit and train 30 women over a three-year period to become home health aides. It was anticipated that while the initial group to be served would be Hispanic, the project would eventually serve anyone in need of home health care services.

The first goal of the Community Health Group program was to provide a bilingual and bicultural training experience that would prepare home health aides to offer quality patient care. A secondary goal was to provide participants with the level of support needed to help them succeed in their transition from welfare or low-income jobs to jobs in the health field.

The training consisted of 1,500 hours of paraprofessional training conducted by staff of the Hispanic Family Center with the assistance of staff from the Technical Institute of Camden, an adult vocational training school providing consultation and technical assistance in developing and implementing the home health aide curriculum.

The first six months were primarily classroom instruction. The last four months were a combination of classroom and practical experience. Classroom training included instruction in medical terminology, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid, anatomy, and nutrition.

Once training was underway, the center began outreach and marketing to seniors, through the Hispanic Family Centers Senior Center and close working relationships with other agencies. Several key agencies and hospitals supported the project's efforts:

  • The Latin American Economic Development Association (LAEDA).
  • Cooper Hospital.
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.
  • The Conservation Company.
  • The Camden County Technical and Vocational Service.

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RESULTS

  • During the project period, 31 students passed the nursing home health aide certification and clinical exam, and received job placement services.
  • Many of the project's graduates were offered employment in the home health field, with assistance from the project's job development and case management services.
  • Graduates worked either full-time or part-time, with an average of 33.8 hours per week of service.
  • The project's parent agency, the Hispanic Family Center, provided ongoing assistance to graduates through a family support group focusing on life-skills training such as conflict resolution, communication, and assertiveness. This experience also fostered an informal network through which graduates supported each other outside the agency.

Communications

Staff produced a brochure and press release about the project. The program was also covered in several local newspapers. (See the Bibliography for details.)

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AFTER THE GRANT

The project was unable to secure additional funds to enable its continuation. Therefore, the project did not begin training a third class of home health aides in September 1997 as planned. The Hispanic Family Center ceased operating of the Latina Home Health Aides project with the end of RWJF funding.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Latina Home Health Aides

Grantee

Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey, Inc. (Camden,  NJ)

  • Amount: $ 238,939
    Dates: December 1994 to November 1997
    ID#:  026173

Contact

Miriam Cortes
(856) 365-7393

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Brochures and Fact Sheets

"Community Health Group Project." Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey, 1995.

Press Kits and News Releases

A press release, "Operation Success: Vocational Training, Employment and Self Sufficiency," was distributed on June 17, 1997.

Print Coverage

"Hispanic Family Center Rompiendo Barreras," in El Veterano, August 1–15, 1995.

"Centro Familiar Hispano Presenta Programa Para Mujeres Latinas," in Hispanidad, August 12, 1995.

"Proyecto Grupo De Salud Comunitaria," in Entre Puntos, September 1–14, 1995.

"In Camden, Program Homes in on a Health Care Need," in Philadelphia Inquirer, December 26, 1995.

"Center Helps With A Family Approach," in Courier Post, December 30, 1996.

"Graduates Seeking Self-Sufficiency," in Courier Post (Camden, N.J.), June 24, 1997.

"Graduacion Del Hispanic Family Center," El Veterano, July 1–15, 1997.

"Lack of Funding Could Doom Latina Job Training Program," in Courier Post (Camden, N.J.), July 13, 1997.

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Report prepared by: Robert Mahon
Reviewed by: Patricia Patrizi
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Pamela Dickson

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