Welcome to the home visiting section of our early childhood intervention professional development center. There are many types of home visiting programs and this page is designed as a resource for understanding the different home visiting models and programs within the District of Columbia. ...
Evidence-based home visiting programs support a family’s ability to enhance their child’s growth and development. Trained and competent home visitors evaluate homes for risk factors that may lead to adverse child health outcomes and provide support and intervention that will ultimately enhance a child’s ability to learn, grow, and flourish. The federal government augmented its commitment to home visiting programs by including funding for evidence based home visiting programs within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010. This funding created the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting grant program (MIECHV). The MIECHV program awards grant funding to all states and territories to establish comprehensive home visiting programs that will show improvement in six benchmark areas ranging from maternal and newborn health to the economic sufficiency of families. The program currently serves 15,000 families. The purposes of home visiting programs are to:
- support pregnant mothers and new families,
- promote healthy parent-child interactions,
- promote appropriate child development,
- identify risks early, and
- support parents to create loving and positive home environments.
District of Columbia
The Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs (MIECHV)
The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) provides funds for states to implement evidence-based home visiting program services to at-risk families, as defined by the federal Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) http://homvee.acf.hhs.gov/Models.aspx. The DC Department of Health is responsible for overseeing the implementation of DC’s MIECHV funds and implements the Parents as Teachers (PAT), Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) and Healthy Families America (HFA) home visiting programs. To read more about these specific programs, read Home Visiting: Supporting Families to Flourish Through Quality Programs
Many of the home visitors need and want to share information and learn more about providing high quality home visiting services. The Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development is proud to host and facilitate a learning community that provides training opportunities, communications and sharing of information.
2015 - 2016 Training Opportunities
All trainings are in person sessions the first Friday of the month from 10am- 1pm unless otherwise noted. Registration will be linked to each training announcement when available. Recordings (when available), handouts and resources will also be provided here after the events.
- Septembre 21st, 2016: How to Lead a Reflective Practice
- June 3th, 2016: Understanding Learning Styles and Self-Care
- May 6th, 2016: Supporting Child Development in Home Visitation
- April 1st, 2016: Community Supports Services for Substance Abuse
- March 4, 2016: Support for Parents with Disabilities
- February 5, 2016: Mental and Behavioral Health Resources for Families
- December 4, 2015: Motivational Interviewing Strategies
- November 6, 2015: Introduction to Motivational Interviewing
- October 2, 2015:
Stages of Change
To continue our theme of Building Relationships to Promote Change, we have a terrific guest speaker Kim Avery, Early Care and Education Specialist from the Children's Institute to talk about the skills and strategies to work with families to support change.
- August 28, 2015
Session Cancelled. Information for this topic will be available here in September 2015
Assessments: How to Approach Families and What They Tell Us
- July 10, 2015: Learning Community Kick Off
Communication and Sharing of Information
The learning community has an email newsletter every month. If you are a provider of home visiting services in the District of Columbia and want to be a part of this learning community, contact Rachel Brady at firstname.lastname@example.org. The email group also ask questions and shares information about providing high quality services in the District of Columbia.
Tips for Introducing and Getting Consent- Screening and Assessment
Use the following tips to create your own way of introducing and discussing screening and assessment tools with families in your program.
Introducing Screening Tools to Families
It is important to help families understand that we use the screening and assessment tools to support their needs as parents. Use and adapt these tips to introduce the different assessments before and during the consent process.
- Be positive! Sharing of information is how a relationship is formed. Avoid negative terms such as “invasive”, “intrude” or other discouraging terms. Families understand what is best for them and can make decisions about what feels intrusive or invasive based on how you explain the tools and their use.
- Help the family understand that the information is for them. The assessments used at the beginning of home visiting programs help families understand their risk of stress and the effect that stress has on them and their children. They also help you plan for what fits their family best when you get to the curriculum.
- Start the conversation by asking a question- Then start the introduction with the screening tool that most closely matches with their concerns or questions.
- What do you want to know most about your child’s learning/ development?
- What worries you the most as a parent?
- What information do you hope to get from the program?
- Making the connection among stable relationships, stable and consistent environments, and early learning. This helps explain why we use screening and assessment tools that look at not only child development, but help them look at the family environment also.
- Stressors not only affect them as parents, but may interrupt their relationships with their children and get in the way of the development of the brain processes that are so important for learning.
- Parents are not alone. Many parents experience health, mental health and other stresses that make it harder to be the parent they want to be. By understanding the stresses that are having the biggest effect on them, they can get the support and services they need.
- We use this information to make the program specific to you and your child (give an example for the family).
- Tell families how the information will be shared with them and what you will do with the information, for example:
- Help the home visitor or family support worker pick or highlight the parts of the curriculum that will help them and their child the most
- Help the family find services and supports if they want to reduce the stressors on them as parents
- To be a partner in deciding the areas they want their child to grow and learn the most
Here are some great videos to use for your self or with families for learning more about the relationship with stress and early learning. There are other videos on these websites beyond what is highlighted that are also great for learning and sharing with families.
United Front Home Visiting Community (Minnesota Coalition for Targeted Home Visiting) Brain Builders
Center on the Developing Child: Harvard University and the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child
Three Core Concepts in Early Development(click onto the Resource Library section for more videos)
- Experiences Build Brain Architecture
- Server & Return Interaction Shapes
- Toxic Stress Derails Healthy Development
Introduction to Consent for Screening Tools
After discussing the importance of the screening and assessment tools, home visitors must get written permission to perform the screenings or assessments. Here are some tips for discussing this important consent process. Use and adapt these tips to the specific families that you work with
- Now that you know why we are spending time together to get to know your child’s development and the needs of your family, we need your written permission to complete the screening and assessments…. (show the form and go over the tools, and ask them to sign each one)
- The assessment information helps us understand if the program is working for you or if we need to make changes and provide support in a different way.
- The scores and results from the screenings and assessments will be shared with you either right away or during the next session (if the scoring takes time).
- Make this a positive experience and the first part of a great relationship to help families help their children
Here are other resources to discuss development and other screening and assessments with families
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Learn the Signs. Act Early.
- Printable Brochures on milestones in English, Spanish, and other languages http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/freematerials.html
- Parent resources
US Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Administration for Children & Families
- Early Childhood Development: Birth to 5 Watch Me Thirve!
- Developmental Screening Passport https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ecd/screening_passport.pdf
This series of learning modules is designed to promote the home visitor's knowledge of the foundations of early learning, warning signs of developmental delays, meeting the needs of families, and understanding the emerging profession of home visiting. The modules have been listed in a sequence that is beneficial for the learner but can be viewed in any order.
Healthy Brain Development: The Importance of the First Three Years
This module presents the scientific basis for providing early services and supports to young children and their families. Emphasis is on the application of this evidence to home visiting.
Typical Child Development from Birth to Age 5
This module presents information on typical child development in 5 domains of development: Adaptive, Cognition, Communication, Motor, and Social-Emotional through age 5 and the interaction of the developmental domains.
Developmental Warning Signs
Building upon typical development, this module describes specific behaviors that may indicate a child has a developmental delay or disability.
This module presents the importance of developmental screening, tools that are available, discussing findings with families, and referring to appropriate resources.
Safety and Nutrition
This module presents critical safety and health issues of concern to families with young children. It focuses on physical safety, nutrition, and the importance of physical activity.
Families with Complex Needs I: Homelessness
Many families are struggling with and experiencing increased levels of adversity. Understanding the challenges and locating resources within the community are key to lessen any negative impact. This module and the next explore identifying community based family supports that are responsible to the concerns, priorities, and resources of the family. This first module focuses on the needs and challenges of families who are without permanent housing.
Families with Complex Needs II: Low Literacy and Cognitive Disabilities
Many families are struggling with and experiencing increased levels of adversity. Understanding the challenges and locating resources within the community are key to lessen any negative impact. This module and the previous one explore identifying community based family supports that are responsible to the concerns, priorities, and resources of the family. This focuses on working with parents who have intellectual disabilities or low literacy.
This module describes the meaning of family engagement, positive parenting and responding appropriately to the child based on the child’s cues. Recognizing that parents are their child’s first and most important teachers is an important part of influencing the parent- child interaction style to promote a healthy, loving relationship.
Working with Community Resources
This module describes the need for home visitors to collaborate with a variety of community programs and resources, especially those related to serving children with developmental delay. A particular emphasis is on the programs in the District of Columbia: Strong Start, Early Stages, DC Early Childhood Programs, DC Child Care Connection.
Routines Based Learning
This module explores the importance of using everyday activities and routines as a context for learning. The importance of coordinated, predictable practices in promoting healthy child development are described.
This module explores the cultural values, beliefs, traditions of families which may influence child rearing. The role of the home visitor in respecting cultural influences is discussed.
Child Abuse and Neglect
This module discusses the contemporary and ecological context of family violence in the United States, including the role of culture in contributing to, maintaining, and providing rationalizations for violence in interpersonal relationships. It describes the impact of chronic neglect has on brain development as well as social-emotional behavior and learning.
The Home Visitor, an Emerging Profession
This module describes the importance of establishing a trusting, open relationship with the families the home visitor serves. The art and science of communication, collaboration and professional boundaries, and procedures for home visitor safety in high risk neighborhoods are discussed.