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Community Health Worker (CHW)

Home Health Aide

Position Summary

A CHW is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. [1]
A Home Health Aide assists the disabled, chronically ill, or cognitively impaired by assisting with daily tasks (such as dressing and bathing), simple housekeeping (such as laundry and dishes), shopping, planning appointments, and providing companionship. Provide routine individualized healthcare such as changing bandages and dressing wounds, and applying topical medications to the elderly, convalescents, or persons with disabilities at the patient’s home or in a care facility. Monitor or report changes in health status. May also provide personal care such as bathing, dressing, and grooming of patients. [6]

Training and Prerequisites

  • Completion of an approved CHW Training Program by the SD Department of Social Services. [2]
  • The CHW Agency process will include the process utilized to hire individuals qualified to act as a CHW following certification that the individual has completed the Indian Health Service Community Health Representative basic training, a CHW program approved by the South Dakota Board of Technical Education or the South Dakota Board of Regents, or a CHW training program approved by the State. [3]
  • Home Health Aides and personal care aides typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. [7]
  • Federal law requires that certified Home Health Aides complete 75 hours of total training (including 16 hours of clinical training), plus pass a test. [7],[8]
  • SD does not require any additional training above the national training standards of 75 training hours. [9]


  • No certificate or license is required in SD.
  • Home Health Aides are not licensed or regulated in SD.
  • Aides who work for agencies that receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid must get a minimum level of training and pass a competency evaluation to be certified. [7]
  • Certification through the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) is optional. [11]

Typical Supervisors

  • CHWs are primarily supervised by a clinic manager, nursing manager, or other organizational manager. [5]
  • Supervisors may include a home health agency manager or case manager.

Median Hourly Wage (National)


  • Community Health Worker (CHW) – $20.19
  • Home Health Aide – $14.82

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