Year in Review: Protecting Farmworker Children from Environmental Contaminants
After an incredibly successful first year, Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN) and our partner, East Coast Migrant Head Start Project (ECMHSP) are ready and excited to kick off the second year of our community-based environmental health education program.
Our project, It Takes Community: Protecting Farmworker Children from Environmental Contaminants is supported by the Aetna Foundation’s Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program.
In the first year of our program we trained 45 ECMHSP staff members and 20 parents from the farmworker community who were educated on how to be Community Health Workers (CHWs). The trained CHWs reached 78 farmworker families with education on how to minimize children's exposure to environmental hazards, including pesticides, lead, and asthma triggers.
While the quantity of individuals reached itself was noteworthy, we are particularly impressed by the change in knowledge of our target population: parents within the farmworker community. Pre- and post-assessments were administered to parents to evaluate knowledge about environmental hazards. In their evaluations, parents trained by CHWs boasted an average change in knowledge of 348%.
In addition to an incredible change in knowledge from our impacted parents, our evaluation results reinforce the success of our CHW model in which community members effectively relay information to other parents and families in their community. Our evaluations at this level demonstrated that participating parents were exceptionally satisfied with the education, which introduced new knowledge to integrate into their daily lives.
Both the change in knowledge and satisfaction of the impacted parents demonstrates the significant strides that are made when implementing a CHW training model. Through this program, ECMHSP has grown their existing services to incorporate new topics and reach more families with information on how to keep their children safe.
“We are incredibly pleased with the impact our program has had on helping farmworker parents protect their children from environmental hazards,” notes Amy Liebman, MCN’s Director of Environmental and Occupational Health. “We are excited to build on the momentum of our first year and are confident it will fuel our success in the coming year.”
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