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 (704) 451-3255 or email us at kristinecortina@hsessentials.com.

Conducting Your Program’s CLASS observations: More than Just Scores

How are your CLASS observations going? Are you getting the most out of them that you can? CLASS observations are an important piece of the puzzle to ensure best practices in the classroom. They are also critical in the data collection and analysis process. CLASS data is carefully considered when planning training and mentor coaching. CLASS observations are also important when preparing for a CLASS Review.

When conducting CLASS observations, consider the following:

  • Videotape the CLASS observations. Videos are a great tool to use for mentor coaching. It provides the teachers with real examples of teaching behaviors in the Head Start classroom. It’s a good way to show the teachers their strengths as well as opportunities for improvement.
  • Debrief with each teacher after the observation. Take a few minutes to speak with each teacher following the observation. The teachers will appreciate some immediate feedback. It’s a good time for to reflect on the observation and to build a foundation for future mentor coaching.
  • Write a summary of each classroom in addition to the scores. Document what you saw in the classrooms as it pertains to each of the domains and dimensions. It’s great feedback for the teaching staff and the Head Start Director. It’s also good information to have when providing mentor coaching.
  • Consider custom designed CLASS training after the observations. The observations will provide you with valuable CLASS data. It will show you exactly which dimensions your teaching staff are strong in – and which ones your staff can use additional guidance and support.

We conduct CLASS observations that include all of the items listed above and the points listed below:

  • As outside observers, we have the objectivity needed to observe classrooms without the possibility of bias.
  • We can observe your English-speaking and bilingual classrooms.
  • We offer the opportunity for your Education Coordinator or Mentor Coach to sit in on the debriefings that we do with teachers – for continuity purposes.
  • We offer the opportunity for your Education Coordinator (or other CLASS-reliable staff person) to join us for dual coding on a couple of classrooms.
  • You will receive CLASS scores, classroom summaries and a list of program-wide issues that are causing lower CLASS scores as well as recommendations to address and correct those issues.

Looking for an outside observer to conduct your CLASS observations? Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at kristinecortina@hsessentials.com.