Who are the Assistant Cooks at the Community Child Centers in South Korea? Focus Group Interviews with Workfare Program Participants

Jiyoung Park, Chongwon Park, Sanghee Kim, Gill A. ten Hoor, Gahui Hwang, Youn Sun Hwang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Community child centers (CCCs) were introduced to provide after-school activities and care, including meal services to children from low-income families. The assistant cooks, who have the main responsibility for making and serving food at CCCs, are a major factor influencing the eating habits of children using CCCs. In this study, we tried to identify and understand who the assistant cooks are, what their job responsibilities are, and what they need in order to be able to provide children with healthy meals.Methods: Three focus group interviews were held with 17 workfare program participants who worked as assistant cooks at CCCs, and content analysis methods were applied using the NVivo 12 qualitative data analysis software.Results: The assistant cooks reflected on their perceptions of the children's health at the CCCs, their own cooking style, and their role at the CCCs. Additionally, barriers to the optimal provision of their services were pointed out, and improvements were suggested.Conclusion: The results of this study can be used as a fundamental resource for the development of tailored interventions that consider a child's unique environment to address health disparities, specifically with respect to childhood obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-453
JournalChild Health Nursing Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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