Implementing HealthConnect One's® Community-Based Doula Program

Implementation last updated: 2015

The information in this profile reflects feedback, if provided, from this model’s developer as of the above date. The description of the implementation of the model(s) here may differ from how the model(s) was implemented in the research reviewed to determine this model’s evidence of effectiveness. Inclusion in the implementation report does not mean the practices described meet the HHS criteria for evidence of effectiveness. Similarly, models described here may not all have impact studies, and those with impact studies may vary in their effectiveness. Please see the Effectiveness button on the left for more information about research on the effectiveness of the models discussed here.

Training to support implementation

Requirements for program certification

Organizations interested in implementing the Community-Based Doula Program must apply to HC One. The application process involves submitting (1) a recent, audited financial report; (2) a current operating budget; (3) an organizational chart showing structure and staff commitments; (4) agency materials such as brochures and annual reports; and (5) letters of support from potential collaborators.

Accreditation is available for sites that have operated the program for at least two years. Accreditation is valid for two years.

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Pre-service staff training

HC One uses a training-of-trainers model in which HC One staff provide a three-day training for leadership of the implementing agency. Topics presented during the training include key components of the program, program development, case management, supervision, adult learning, culture and communication, evaluation, and program funding. The trainers use the popular education approach that connects participants’ personal experiences with the content of the training in the context of a supportive, introspective group process.

The implementing agency’s leadership then conducts a 20-session training course (which includes some tailoring to the implementing site’s context) with their agency’s doulas.

The doula training covers the doula’s role and limitations, including recognizing when to refer the mother to health care providers; cultural aspects of pregnancy and birth; normal pregnancy; labor and delivery; breastfeeding; maternal health; infant health and development; safety; loss; parenting skills; assessment and documentation; and standards of practice.

Doulas are also required to observe prenatal and postpartum home and medical visits, labor and delivery, and parent childbirth education and breastfeeding classes.

Doulas must achieve the following core competencies, which are assessed during training through in-class practice, role-playing and discussion, homework assignments, and journaling:

  • Demonstrates active listening, uses three-step counseling techniques
  • Uses informal language of clients in one-on-one interactions
  • Uses language and reflects culture of participants in group discussions
  • Engages in nondirective counseling
  • Refers appropriately and follows up
  • Demonstrates an understanding of how personal beliefs and values affect work
  • Completes all written homework assignments
  • Demonstrates development of personal relationships within training
  • Demonstrates ability to use basic knowledge of core content in role-plays and discussions
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In-service staff training

HC One recommends that supervisors conduct monthly case study sessions and provide regular in-service training on other topics based on community and staff needs. HC One offers in-service training through webinars and conference calls, articles posted on the HC One website, and regional and national meetings and summits.

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Training materials

Agency leadership attending the three-day training of trainers receive a Community-Based Doula Program toolkit, which contains the 20-session Community-Based Doula Program training curriculum including handout examples, and an operations manual.

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Qualified trainers

The implementing agency’s leadership, trained by HC One, trains the program’s community-based doulas.

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Technical assistance

HC One helps sites prepare for the 20-session doula course, which is tailored to the site’s strengths and needs. HC One also offers on-site co-facilitation of two sessions during the training. HC One guides the site through the planning, program development, and implementation phases, including completing a community needs assessment and convening a stakeholders’ meeting; and provides training and technical assistance for data collection and evaluation.

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Implementation notes

The information contained on this page was last updated in June 2015. Recommended Further Reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by the HealthConnect One on April 30, 2015. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.

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