01.04.10 - Health Services Worker Job Description

Health Services Worker Job Description Policy Number and Last Update (01.04.10/08-2016)

Title: Health Services Worker

Reports to: Director/Site Supervisor

Supervises: Cook and Assistant Cook

FLSA: Non-Exempt

General Summary:

The Health Services Worker is responsible for managing, planning, implementing and evaluating comprehensive health/dental, environmental safety and nutrition programs for children and their families enrolled in the Illinois Migrant Head Start program. This position involves extensive record keeping, organizing, problem solving and time management. It also involves interpretation and communication of complex regulations and medical data and terminology. Extensive interaction with children, staff, parents and the larger community is also required.

Essential Functions:

  1. Ensures that all enrolled children are up-to-date on a schedule of age appropriate preventive and primary health care within four weeks of child's entry and as services become due. Works collaboratively with parents to arrange any needed medical, dental, or nutritional examinations and immunizations, keeping in mind parents work schedules.
  2. In collaboration with parents and other staff, develops a written follow-up plan and arranges re-screening, further diagnostic testing, examination and treatment for each child found to have medical, dental or nutritional problems. Assists parents, as needed, with identifying resources to obtain prescribed medications, aids, or equipment for medical and dental conditions.
  3. Obtains informed signed parental consent and release of information for all health, dental and nutritional services provided to children by the program or its contracted service providers; encourages parental presence and participation at these health services; and, informs parents in writing of the results of all services.
  4. Identifies health, dental, emergency and nutrition service resources within the community; ensures all these services are included in the Community Resource Directory; and, helps parents, as needed, in securing a source of accessible health care for their families.
  5. In close communication with the Director, negotiates and develops written agreements and/or contracts with service providers; makes vigorous efforts to assure that Head Start is the dollar of last resort, seeking to obtain free or reduced priced services whenever possible.
  6. Secures the services of a qualified Nutrition Consultant to support the program's nutrition services and, with prior approval of the Director, develops a written contract for the nutritionist's services; secures and keeps on file nutritionist's credentials; orients the consultant to duties and to the Migrant Head Start program and the population served; and, coordinates the schedule of the nutritionist's visits ensuring at least eight hours of service per month. 
  7. In consultation with service area experts and in collaboration with other staff, plans and delivers or secures group and individualized training for staff and parents on health, dental, nutrition and environmental safety topics. Provides staff with technical assistance in the performance of their jobs as they relate to these service areas.
  8. Develops written health, environmental safety, sanitation, food service and emergency policies and procedures ensuring compliance with local and state regulations, with appropriate director, consultant, staff, parent, board, HSAC and grantee participation and approval. Ensures these policies and procedures are carried out including scheduling required drills, conducting required safety checks and monitoring all other provisions.
  9. Monitors the ongoing health status and needs of enrolled children by ensuring the completion of daily health checks, the administering of medications per the agency's policy and doctors' orders, the implementation of the program's Short-term Exclusion and Readmission Policy and other procedures as needed.
  10. Provides ongoing supervision of the cook and the assistant cook(s). With the assistance of the Nutritionist, monitors the implementation of the IMHSP's menus, recipes and Food Service Policy; monitors food service staff in food purchasing, preparation, service and storage, kitchen cleanliness, food handling and dish washing procedures; provides training and technical assistance as needed; and, assists director and cook, as requested, in maintaining records for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
  11. Coordinates the Nutritionist's review of classrooms to ensure: that foods are an integral part of the total education program; that mealtime atmosphere is conducive to socialization and development; that meals are served family style; and, that the quality, quantity and size of food served is appropriate to the ages of the children.
  12. Coordinates the observation of the Infant/Toddler rooms by medical personnel as required by Illinois Day Care Licensing Standards; ensures observations, instructions and recommendations are recorded and carried out.
  13. Organizes and facilitates the activities of the agency's Health Services Advisory Committee (HSAC); ensures that the Committee membership is composed of all required professions and parent representation and that it meets at least twice a year.
  14. Maintains detailed, accurate, up-to-date and confidential records including: child health files, health services tracking system and documentation of all activities; develops and submits timely reports of component service provision and activities for director, grantee, PC, Board and others as required. Maintains strict child, family and staff confidentiality at all times.
  15. Ensures children are familiarized with all health services they will receive prior to delivery by assisting teachers with child centered activities in the classroom and instructing parents on how to prepare their children for services; provides and/or arranges for transportation for children to health service appointments and for translation services, as necessary;
  16. Refers children suspected of having a disability immediately to Disabilities Services Worker (DSW); coordinates with DSW, other staff and families the provision of services to children with disabilities or suspected of having disabilities.
  17. Provides parents with records of all services provided to their children before they leave the program; discusses with parents the importance of these records and how to maintain them. Also, transfers children's records as requested and approved by parents in writing.
  18. Facilitates the transition of children with incomplete medical/dental treatment or with ongoing medical needs to services at their next destination, per the delegate's transition plan and with full participation of parents.
  19. Participates in and contributes to all case management, parent education planning, supervisory, management team and staff meetings. Also, attends interagency meetings, the agency's board meetings, Parent Committee and Policy Committee meetings and other meetings, as appropriate.
  20. Attends and participates in grantee-sponsored trainings, center pre-service and in-service trainings, and other continuing education, career and professional development opportunities; reads and reviews regulations and other resources to keep abreast of current issues and trends related to the responsibilities of the job.
  21. Serves as an advocate for the Migrant Head Start program and the health and nutrition needs of migrant farm workers by presenting to community groups, participating in local associations and groups and serving on local committees, as appropriate.
  22. Participates in the annual program self-evaluation and grantee monitoring, and complies with the program improvement plans developed. Contributes to the development of the Delegate Agency Annual Plan, program proposals and Community Assessment, as requested
  23. Performs other duties, as requested.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by a person in this position. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all duties that may be performed in such a position.

Recommended Employment Qualifications


NHSA Basic Health Services Credential Required. If at time of hiring has not acquired the NHSA Credential, the HSC will have 9 months from date of hiring to complete the credential . Must be 21 years of age with at least 18 credit hours of course work and training, beyond a High School diploma or equivalent, in public health, nursing, health education, maternal and child health, child nutrition, health administration and/or early childhood required at the time of hiring or within 18 months of employment. It is preferred that the Health Services Worker have credentials as a registered nurse, a licensed practical nurse or a Bachelor's or Associate's Degree in any of the above fields. Bilingual (Spanish/English) preferred.


Demonstrates understanding of Head Start philosophy. Understanding of the principles, practices and current state of child health and nutrition. Experience working with infants, toddlers or preschoolers. Familiarity with community resources. Experience organizing and managing multiple responsibilities under pressure and documenting extensive information. Experience in the use of computer data base and/or word processing. Knowledge of the challenges and strengths of low-income and migrant families.

Additional Requirements:

Regular access to a reliable vehicle; have a valid Illinois driver's license and vehicle insurance. Ability to pass a physical exam every two years and a TB test yearly. Must be able to comply with background check, including fingerprints, as required by the agency and/or Illinois Licensing Agency. Ability to work with a minimum of supervision and as an effective member of a team. Ability to present a positive image of the organization to members of the community. Must have effective communication skills, both oral and written, and strong organizational, problem solving, time management and analytical skills. Ability to observe and record information including non-verbal information. Must be able to travel extensively. Ability to learn information from Procedures Manuals and to understand medical terminology. Must be able to physically move through migrant camps, classrooms and playgrounds. Ability to lift 55 pounds is required. Ability to operate a computer and other office equipment, including, but not limited to, the telephone, fax machine, copier and tape recorder. Must possess personal qualifications as required in Section 407.100 of the Illinois Licensing Standards for Day Care Centers, including: emotional maturity, willingness to cooperate with the aims of Head Start, respect for children and adults from various cultures and backgrounds, flexibility, patience, good personal hygiene, and physical and mental health that do not interfere with responsibilities.

Working Conditions:

Tasks that involve possible exposure to blood, bodily fluids or tissues. Risk involved with travel on main highway, side streets and rural roads during business travel, including evening and weekend meetings and events. Tasks that involve handling implements or utensils, use of public or shared bathroom facilities or telephones and personal contacts are Category II tasks. Possible exposure to communicable diseases. This job involves sitting and standing for long periods of time as well as stooping, squatting and running. Must be able to travel, enter, and exit a vehicle without assistance and withstand exposure to adverse weather conditions. Able to work a flexible schedule that may involve some evenings, weekends and some overnight travel to attend training sessions. If the applicant does not possess these at time of hire, obtaining CPR and First Aid Certification within two months of hiring and the Food Handlers Certificate within six months of hiring is expected.

The qualifications listed above are guidelines for selection purposes; alternative qualifications may be substituted with DHS approval.