Effective Goal Setting with Families through Motivational Interviewing

Family Service Workers and Home Visitors are the first point of contact for our families. They have a critical role that includes working closely with each family to meet them where they are – and guide them on their path to self-sufficiency. Establishing a good working relationship with families is essential in the goal setting process. Another key skill to have in your toolbox, as it pertains to effective goal setting, is motivational interviewing.   

Effective goal setting consists of partnering with families to create specific and measurable goals. We have found that successfully implementing this process consists of:

  • Developing trusting relationships. Engage and build connection with families by allowing adequate time for conversation and listening with an open mind. Hearing what families are saying is vital. Initiate “rich” conversations with families that get to the heart of where families are and where they want to be.  Create a safe environment for them to share their strengths and open up about areas of challenge.        
  • Recognizing family’s strengths and needs. It is important that staff spend time getting to know each family member as an individual and work to establish a comfort level with each one. This time allows staff to discover what the family is all about and what is important to them – reflective goal setting. This includes the family’s own timeline for goals and needs. Know what questions to ask families in order to gain critical information to set goals.
  • Motivational interviewing. Motivational interviewing is the process of helping people move through the stages of change. Learn how to collaborate and support change using specific skill-building techniques. Improve how you show empathy through reflective listening. Support a parent’s desire to change by learning how to establish discrepancy and rolling with resistance. Believing that a parent can change is only half as powerful as effectively supporting a parent’s belief that they can change themselves.   

This highly interactive & practice-based training also addresses how to engage challenging parents with complex needs. It is important that Family Partnership Agreements are intentional, purposeful and based on the strengths and needs of each family. As Family Service Workers & Home Visitors invite each family to participate in the goal setting process, we need to work in partnership with parents to determine realistic and effective family goals

Are you looking for Training on Effective Goal Setting with Families through Motivational Interviewing? Give us a call at (713) 594-7060 or email us at deborahkaiser@hsessentials.com.