Work-Study applications for our comprehensive birth doula workshops are accepted on an ongoing basis.
See below for information on how to apply.
If you are accepted to the work-study program you will be invited to attend a scheduled workshop within one year. Be sure to read all of the information about the work-study program in the first pages of the application, and verify that you will be available for all classes in a given workshop by reviewing schedules here. Then we invite you to apply for our work-study program!!!
Work-study application process:
Nuestros cursos son en Inglés, para encontrar el formulario de referencia en Español click aquí
1. Written application
2. Video/phone conference interview.
3. Applicant group activity
The goal of our assessment is to determine your need, and to determine if you would be a good match for serving as a community doula with our program. If we do not accept you to the work-study program, that does NOT mean you wouldn’t be a GREAT doula. Only that you are not a good fit for our program needs. We still encourage you to attend one of our doula workshops, and would be happy to work with you on setting up a payment plan.
Please use one of these methods submit your written application:
1. You can download this PDF, complete it and mail it to us at 976 Linwood Rd., Birmingham, AL 35222 or email it to us at [email protected]
2. You can download this WORD document, fill it out and email it to us at [email protected]
Please pay special attention to the important information on the first three pages of the application.
BirthWell Partners is a publicly supported charity that depends on work-study participants to serve families that could not otherwise afford doula services. Our program is based on a win-win premise. In return for extensive training, mentoring and finding your first doula clients, work-study participants commit to providing pro-bono services to low-resource clients recruited by BirthWell Partners. In this way, doulas attend the births required for certification and gain valuable on-the-job experience.
As a work-study participant, the doula services you will provide for each pregnant client include two prenatal visits, birth support, and two postpartum visits. This means being “on-call” 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a period of two-three weeks before your client’s due date and until the baby is born (at most, three weeks after the due date.) Once the baby is born you are no longer on call, but do need to remain available to provided needed postpartum services.
Guidelines for Applicants
Applicants for BirthWell Partners’ birth doula work-study program must:
• be at least 21 years of age
• live within the greater Birmingham area, Tuscaloosa or Anniston
• have their own transportation
• have a valid driver’s license and automobile liability insurance
• have financial need
We Look at a Range of Applicants: We know that some of our applicants will move on to missionary work outside the country, some will use doula training as a stepping stone to midwifery training, some are public health professionals who will use this experience to enhance their careers and create better policies for maternal and child health, some will become professional doulas in affluent communities, and some will become professional doulas and serve families in low-recourse communities.
We Look at a Range of Financial Need: the size of your work-study commitment depends on the portion of the workshop fees you can cover. Some applicants will have the full cost of training covered, and others will pay part of their costs.
This approach allows us to spread our limited resources to as many applicants as possible. As one of our goals is increasing access to doula care, the more work-study participants we can support, the further we go toward meeting that goal.
If we offer you partial support, any money you pay helps us cover our costs, and you lower the number of births you commit to attending, while still getting all of the benefits of supplemental training and mentoring.
If we decide NOT to award you a work-study position, please note that this does NOT mean that we don’t think you should attend the training or that you wouldn’t be an amazing doula. It only means that we feel you are not a good match to volunteer in our doula program at that time.
The BirthWell Partners FULL work-study program includes:
• Combined Introduction to Childbirth Education for Doulas and the Birth Doula Workshop (over 24 hours of instruction)
• Breastfeeding Class (4 hours of instruction)
• Perinatal Health Advocate Training (3 1/2 hours of instruction)
• BirthWell Partners Doula Orientation (2 hours of instruction)
• Birth Doula Certification Packet
• Matching with first doula clients and mentoring and Support from Experienced Doulas
• Background Screening
• Volunteers in good standing (completed 6 births and submitted all related paperwork) will receive a BONUS to cover the Birth Doula Certification Application Fee and a one year DONA membership
Work-study participants agree to:
• Submit to background screening
• Attend the combined Introduction to Childbirth Education and Birth Doula Workshop
• Attend the Breastfeeding Class
• Attend the Perinatal Health Advocate Training
• Attend the doula Orientation
• Attend supplemental trainings and meetings throughout the 18 month period (at least 4 per year)
• Follow the official DONA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Birth Doulas
• Provide birth doula services to 6 BirthWell Partners clients in Birmingham, Anniston or Tuscaloosa, within 18 months of attending the Birth Doula Workshop. Services per doula client include a minimum of 2 prenatal visits, attendance at the birth and a minimum of 2 postpartum visits and submission of all relevant paperwork.
• Check and respond to messages (email, phone, or text) within a reasonable period of time, and stay in regular communication with program staff
• Complete and submit documentation for each client in a timely manner
• Attempt to follow up with clients by phone at designated intervals for 12 months
• Represent BirthWell Partners at at-least one health fair or fundraising event.
If unforeseen circumstances arise and a recipient is unable to completely fulfill this commitment, work-study participants agree to repay the cost of their training at a prorated amount based on the number of births attended. The value of this work-study program, which covers the costs of training, certification, client assignment and mentoring support is over $1200.