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KDHRC created Puentes online to train promotores to empower Latino parents of children with special health care needs to navigate the health care and school systems and secure educational accommodations.

Special health care needs are mild to severe chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions such as arthritis; diabetes; epilepsy; asthma; cerebral palsy; brain injury; hearing, vision, or speech problems; anxiety; autism; and learning and intellectual disabilities. Children with special healthcare needs (CSHCN) are at major risk of poor academic and psychosocial outcomes. Legally mandated school supports can improve their outcomes, but low-income Latino parents may face linguistic and cultural barriers to access health care and school services.

Puentes will be an online professional development course for promotores de salud. Puentes-trained promotores will have the knowledge and skills to empower Latino parents of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) navigate the health care and school system to secure educational accommodations for their CSHCN. The six-module online course, which will use text, video clips, and virtual client interactive training, will be reviewed by expert panels, rigorously tested, evaluated in an experimental design, and backed by a strategic commercialization plan. Puentes is soundly based on a reasoned action approach that drives motivation to engage in capacity building for community outreach for CSHCN’s educational accommodations.

In 2019, KDHRC plans to complete the prototype program including a website from which promotores de salud can access training materials and resources.

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KDHRC will conduct a feasibility study of the prototype program starting in March 2019.

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