Essential Tips: Supporting the Work of Our Home Visitors

Tip #1:  Be safe and take care of yourself.

Ensure that your program has procedures in place for the safety of Home Visitors – such as providing safety training to staff members and establishing clear rules about safety practices.  With as much time as Home Visitors spend taking care of the families they serve, they may forget to take care of themselves.  Home Visitor training should address boundary issues and personal time.

Tip #2:  Provide training specifically geared to Home Visitors.

Home Visitors are responsible for bringing the Head Start or Early Head Start program into the family’s home.  Like other staff, their training plan should include topics such as screening and assessments, lesson planning, and building relationships with parents.  In addition, their plan for professional development should also include training that is specifically designed for their needs. Suggestions for topics could include: home as a child development environment, parent education techniques, and observing parent/child interactions.

Tip #3:  Establish a system to observe your Home Visitors and support their professional development.

Observing Home Visitor practice is an essential part of the home-based program, especially as it pertains to supporting parents in their role as their child’s primary teacher.  The observations can be used as a tool to assess Home Visitors’ work with families as well as to track Home Visitors’ development over time.  In addition, the observations can be utilized as a training tool to build on the Home Visitors’ strengths and address areas that need improvement.

Interested in training for your Home Visitors? Give us a call at (713) 594-7060 or email us at deborahkaiser@hsessentials.com.