This webinar series focuses on home visiting practices with families. Learn how to select and implement appropriate home-based curricula. Find tips for how to establish and maintain relationships with families. Additional series topics include how to conduct child assessment in the family's home.
Relationship-Based Competencies for Home Visitors
Relationship-Based Competencies for Home Visitors
Relationship-Based Competencies for Home Visitors:
Home Visiting Series
Shela Jooma: Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining us this afternoon. My name is Shela Jooma. I'll introduce myself properly in just a few minutes. We're still a couple minutes before the top of the hour, but there are so many excited folks on the line already, and we see that you've already started responding to our question here on the slide in the group-chat widget.
So if you're on the phone and if you haven't checked in yet, let us know when you typically have the most meaningful communications and interactions with families. I see a lot of responses here saying that during the home visit when you have one-on-one time with families are extremely meaningful. A number of people have also mentioned group settings, where parents get to talk to each other, so let us know if that resonates with you or if there are other opportunities that you have to interact with parents that are particularly meaningful, and we'll keep checking in, and we'll get started right at the top of the hour. I see mention of meaningful interactions after the establishment of a relationship. That's particularly important to what we're going to discuss this afternoon. Few mentions of meaningful conversations, good rapport, shared experiences. During pickup and drop-off, some other votes for that option. Of course, not when there's a crisis going on. Yes. Some of you mentioned when there's a calm environment, when things are at an equilibrium, when there's time to reflect.
Brandi Black Thacker: And so the pattern that I'm seeing here is it's all about the relationship. You know, we're the relationship people, so that's exciting to us. I love the feedback. Thank you, guys, for the rich sharing.
Shela: Absolutely. Thanks for noticing that, Brandi, and I'm seeing now that all of this exciting sharing has brought us to the top of the hour, so I will turn it over to my colleague at the National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning to kick us off. Angela, take it away. Angela Fisher-Solomon: Thank you. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the "Home Visiting Series: Relationship-Based Competencies." We are super excited to have you join us this afternoon. I'm Angela Fisher-Solomon, and I'm a senior T/TA specialist, specializing in home visiting here at the National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning, and we're super excited to be joined this afternoon by our colleagues and, what I like to say, our friends, from the National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement. We also like to say the PFCE people, so I'm excited to have Catherine Ayoub here with us, Brandi Black Thacker and Shela Jooma to join us and get us started. But before this presentation, I have the wonderful pleasure of giving you some logistics.
Here at the DTL, we're using a new platform, so I just want to give you a few little logistics to tell you how to help navigate the session that you're joined this afternoon, so let's take a quick look. At the bottom of your screen, you're going to see multiple applications, also known as widgets, which most of you may know that you can use. All of the widgets are resizable and movable, so feel free to move them around and get the most out of your desktop space. You can expand your slide area and maximize it to the full screen by clicking on the arrows at the top-right corner. So if you have any questions during the webcast, you can submit them through the Q and A widget. We will try to answer all of your questions during the webcast, but if a fuller answer is needed or we run out of time, the question will be answered via e-mail, and they are sent to you. So please know that we are going to try to answer everything to the fullest extent as time allows, and a copy of today's slide deck and the additional resources that are going to be discussed will be available in the resource list. We encourage you to download any resources and links that you may find useful.
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Brandi: Thank you, Sandra. Hey, everybody. We are so excited to be here with you today. My name is Brandi Black Thacker, and I'm the director of T/TA and Collaboration for the National Center On Parent, Family, Community Engagement. I want to introduce you to two of my most favorite folks, one of which you've already heard, but before we get to Shela, I want you to say hello to the one and only Dr. Cathy Ayoub. Take it away.
Catherine Ayoub: Oh, thank you, Brandi. Hi. Hello, everyone. I'm Cathy Ayoub, and I'm so pleased to be here to talk about the relationship-based competencies for home visitors. You are really getting it hot off the press, and we are just so excited to share these with you. So without further ado, Shela?
Shela: Thanks, Cathy. My name is Shela Jooma, and I am a project manager for resource development with the National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement. I have the pleasure of working with Dr. Ayoub and Brandi on the relationship- based competencies that we're going to discuss today. So let me move us forward to let you know what we're planning on doing today in the next just under an hour that we have together. So we'll focus on understanding how to establish positive goal-oriented relationships with families. We'll also spend some time reviewing the knowledge, skills and practices needed to establish these relationships with families, and then we'll — Throughout the whole hour, we'll spend time looking at the relationship-based competencies. Hopefully, that's why you've joined us today, to support family engagement and we'll give you some sneak previews of a resource that's up and coming and should be available very soon on the ECLKC: "A Guide for Early Childhood Professionals Who Make Home Visits." So before we jump into the meat, we wanted to get a sense of how familiar you are with the relationship-based competencies. So you should see on your screen right now a poll that has four responses. So let us know how familiar you might be with the relationship-based competencies. As you may have heard Brandi Black Thacker saying, if you've ever seen her present live, do you know it, live it, love it? Do you have a general understanding but maybe not reference them very regularly in your work? Are you familiar with them but need to spend a little bit more time absorbing their content, or are you here because you're like, "What is an RBC?" So I'll give you a little bit of time to respond to that.
Brandi: Shela, what's it looking like? What do you see over there? What are some of the early results?
Shela: Yeah. I was just pulling it up to take a look. It looks like we're kind of evenly split between the last three responses, so some folks are generally familiar with it, with the RBCs. Some have a little bit more of an understanding. A lot of folks on the line do not have familiarity with the relationship-based competencies, so this will be a really exciting opportunity for us to share what they are and how you can use them in your work. It looks like we have a good majority of our responses, so I'm going to go ahead and close the poll in the next five seconds. If you have any more thoughts to share, go ahead and put them in the poll, and let's show everyone what you've all said. Here we go. So about 3 percent of the people do know, love and live the RBCs. That's really exciting. About a quarter of you, a fifth to a quarter, have a general understanding but don't reference them regularly. About a third of the people with us today are familiar with the RBCs but need to spend some time absorbing their content, and almost half are yet to be exposed to this exciting set of resources. So, Brandi, I'll turn it over to you to get us into the meat of today's presentation.
Brandi: Thank you so much, Shela. Well, I'm so excited that so many of you are going to be getting to know the RBCs today. The very first thing I want to do is introduce you to the sweet suite. That's my nickname for this. For those of you who know about the RBCs, you do know about what's represented on the left-hand side of your screen, where the green box that says, "All Early Childhood Professionals," so let's start at the beginning. RBC stands for relationship-based competency, and I would say that you guys are one of the groups that know how to do this the very best, and you evidenced that in the chat that you offered in the very beginning in the places and spaces you feel like you can make those deep connections with families. So what we have on the left-hand side of your screen in the green document box is actually the RBC that we call that's universal, the overview for all early childhood professionals. So that's the piece that we use with each of the role-based competencies that you see on the right-hand side. At the very top, in the light-blue box, you'll see we have a document for family-service professionals. In the middle, in the purple box, you'll see that we also have a document for teachers and childcare providers, an then we're so happy to be with you guys because we have made a full document just for you and the incredible work that you do with and beside the families and their children. So we're excited to get into that document today so that you can take a sneak peek and you can look around and see what you think, give us feedback, and to do that, we really want to also begin with a little bit of sort of foundational information here on what an RBC actually is. This is the way that we actually operationally define relationship-based competencies.
Now, I want you guys to make me a promise. Raise your virtual pinkie. I want you to pinkie promise me that you're going to remember these three words and phrases: knowledge, skills and individual practices. Keep those in mind because we're going to come back to those a couple of times because I'm going to give you a secret decoder ring of sorts. A lot of times, when you look at these new documents, part of the, you know, back-and-forth really is just getting to know the language, how it's organized and having all that ahead of time. We hope this is going to be super helpful for you guys as you get into these and do a little bit of exploring. So here is how we define it: a set of knowledge, skills, individual practices and other characteristics, including attributes, behaviors and actions that are necessary to be effective in one's family-engagement work. Now, I would be remiss if I didn't give the one and only Cathy Ayoub a moment to speak on this one because she is one of the birth mamas of this whole suite. She's one of the authors, and she absolutely is one of the thought leaders who brought together stakeholders from all over the country. But, Cathy, what else would you add here to the definition?
Cathy: Let me see, Brandi. The first thing I think I would want folks to know is that we really didn't make these up from whole cloth, that we looked at a lot of information across disciplines and how people put competencies together so that we were doing kind of the state of the science and the art, but then we also delved quite deeply into what we knew about home visiting. It was really important for us to really have special relationship-based competencies that were really for those of you doing home visits, so that was important. We did look across home visiting models, although primarily, of course, we are to focus on early Head Start home-based programs, so this is especially for those of you who are in those programs, but we also wanted to make it relevant to home visiting as a field, so we did look at home visiting curricula. We looked at other competencies, like those, for example, from the Family Support Network. We did a lot of interchange with the folks who are involved in maternal, infant and early childhood home visiting, MIECHV, both at the state level and tribal, and we also talked to people in colleges and universities who are teaching home visitors. I do want to acknowledge my colleague Lori Rodman because she was also critical in helping us conceptualize and develop these relationship-based competencies. Brandi?
Brandi: And, Cathy, I appreciate that nod because I just want you guys to know it was important for us to pop out your role specifically. Not only had you been asking us over time to think about that, to do that, to really make concrete how you do what you do besides families and their children, but also, it's such an important distinction. You get to walk a line that is incredibly exciting, between the connection with and for the family and their littlest ones.
So we are so excited to be able to bring you a document all your own and, without further ado, want to get into it a little more deeply. So remember I asked you to pinkie promise about those three words? Here is where they come together. So what we have in this document are 10 competencies, and Cathy is going to go over those with you here in a little bit in detail so you can see what they are, how they're organized, how we define them, but underneath each of those 10 competencies, we have what I call these tiers, the knowledge, skills and individual practices that all come together to equal a professional practice. Now, remember how I told you this was like a secret decoder ring? This is like your behind-the-scenes trainer telling you, like, "Here, when you get to these words in the document, this is meaningful," because under each of those competencies, there's a tier for knowledge, what you need to know, a tier for skills, what we need to be able to do, and then a tier for practices, which include key concrete examples of what we actually do.
As you can see on this slide, all of those together culminate into this professional practice which is a whole connected piece of attributes and professional-development awesomeness that's measurable and observable, and there's a little side note here. When I hear the word "observable," I always think about the coaching model, so I think that's usually of specific interest to you guys, and it gets to describe what a person needs to know and how they're going to do the work successfully. So we wanted to make sure that you got to see in this particular so that you could sort of ground yourself in that terminology, and then we'll look a little bit more about how this document is organized. There are some other key terms that are critical to how we do what we do. I want to make sure that you guys, first and foremost, have family engagement right in the top of your hat because, for us, family engagement is a deeper way of being. Parent involvement is absolutely critical. It is necessary toward the trajectory of family engagement, but here is the secret: family engagement is where the magic happens for both the family and the child. There is no growth for a family and child unless the family is engaged, so we want to make sure that you have that right there in front of you because it's not only about how we engage with a family, but then ultimately how the family engages with their little one, so that's a really important thing to know right up front.
And then, Cathy, my favorite part here is, we use the terms interchangeably, parent and family, but the truth is we try to lean toward family a little more deeply than parent, and the reasoning behind that is we get the honor to serve all kinds of constellations of family today. It might be biological family, foster family, adopted family, chosen family, church family. We really want to meet folks where they are, and this is one of the many ways, even in the power of the language, that we lean into that. So we use them interchangeably, but family tends to be where we stand. And then, of course, the strengths-based perspective, always being focused on the pieces of the family's strengths, their abilities, their motivation, their resources. It can show that we're able to focus on those things instead of the problems, but approach those problems, and they're real, we all have them, in a way that is towards solution. So I'm going to pause here just a second. Cathy, see what else you would add there.
Cathy: Oh, Brandi, I think you've said a lot. I think you've really framed it for everyone, so let's move forward. That's great.
Brandi: Perfect, Ms. Cathy. Well, guys, here is the moment you've all been waiting for. This is when Cathy actually gets to take us deep into each of those 10 competencies so you can hear more about what each of these look like, and then we're going to give examples of those knowledge, skills and practices that I alluded to as we go along. So, Cathy, all you. Take it away.
Cathy: Thank you, Brandi. Okay, so, as Brandi mentioned, there are 10 major categories of competencies, and so we're going to go through them one by one and tell you what the definitions of the competencies are, and as Brandi has mentioned, in our resource that we hope will be out within the next month — It's about 35 pages, by the way, so it has a lot of detail in it, and it will actually give you information about the knowledge, skills and practices under each of these. So let's start. The first one is to develop positive goal-oriented relationships with families, and before I even define that one, I also want to let you in on another secret that I think you'd probably figure out fairly quickly, is that the order of these competencies is not random. But we're starting with this because, as Brandi mentioned, positive goal-oriented relationships are really the core to the work that we do, and it is so instrumental to that role of being a home visitor. So this really involves having the home visitor engaging in what we call mutually respectful, positive and goal-oriented relationships with families. Goal-orientation, by the way, means that the focus is not — It is on developing a relationship and saying, "Hello," and, you know, sometimes talking about whatever comes to mind to help the relationship along, but the goal-oriented component really is to promote positive family and child outcomes.
So when you have positive goal-oriented relationships, you have both the positive relationship or engagement and the goal when you put them together. So that particular first competency really sets the stage for all the rest. The second competency is also a fairly global and quite important one, as you might imagine. It's self-aware and culturally responsive relationships. So within the context of thinking about developing these positive, goal-oriented relationships, one of the vehicles through which we know we must engage with families as partners is to respect and respond to the cultures, languages, values and family structures of each and every family. So when we think about those two as kind of providing us the relational framework and orientation, we then come to the third, which has to do with family well-being and also families as learners themselves. So the home visit really supports families as they reflect, as they plan, and they implement activities in their lives for their basic safety, their health, their education, their well-being and their life goals. So this is, in many ways, kind of the family focus of the work that you do when you come into a home and work with families of young children. Number four, and to complete this first set of four, you might imagine now has a focus on the child and the parent and the child, so parent-child relationships and families as lifelong educators for their children. So this is the educator-teaching kind of competency that, as home visitors, you bring to the interactions in order to support that positive interaction between parents and their children. And as you partner with families to build those strong relationships, you also support parents as their first lifelong educators or teachers of their children.
So I would propose that these first four are really core, and as we continue, think about, and we've got some questions related to this, really how these resonate and if these resonate with you, but we're not done yet. So here are five, six and seven, and I'll say already, between one and seven, these really delineate individual competencies on which, as a home visitor, you can focus and consider your strengths and your challenges in each. So number five, you're going to feel a movement here to looking outward and thinking about your community role, really thinking about supporting and working with families to strengthen their support networks and to connect them with communities, both with peers, other parents, other families and other community members who can address their strengths, their interests and their challenges. And so this is really where you, as the home visitor, really connect with these, beginning with the community but always in relationship and partnering with the family. Number six really augments number five and builds on it, so it's also the responsibility of the home visitor to know about and support and engage in practices that support families' access to community resources. So it's really supporting families' use of community resources so that they can make progress toward positive child and family outcomes as they have designated them.
And finally in this group of three, we have leadership and advocacy. So as a home visitor, you work alongside parents to build their strengths as advocates for their children, for their families, and also, we hope, as leaders in both their home-based program, any programs that they may continue on to center-based in the public school system and in other organizations and activities within their community. So you can see this second kind of set of three really move into the home visitor's role with families, working with families around relationships in the community and building their own skills around these three community-based areas. So finally, we have three final relationship-based competencies, and they are more broad, and you can see, as we move from eight to nine to 10, increasingly, we're looking at trying to summarize your professional practice as a home visitor. Number eight, and it is particularly critical for home visitors, is to think about how you really can work with other professionals and agencies to support coordinated, integrated and comprehensive services for families.
We know that — And I remember my home visiting days. It's been a while, but I do remember, and I realized fairly early on, "I can't do this on my own," but oftentimes families will partner with me as I developed a relationship with them to really ask about, "How do I go and access this service?" or, "What should I think about doing about this issue with my child?" or, "How do I learn about my community? How do I figure out where there's a park to go to? How do I figure out whether or not there's a mental health center where there's someone I can trust to talk about some of the things that make me sad?" All those kinds of questions, and so, as a home visitor, we're the glue, and so coordinating, integrating and supporting comprehensive services across all the work we do, whether it really is focused on family well-being or we're focused on supporting families as their children's lifelong teachers, we really need to think about how we help integrate it and coordinate and look at comprehensive-service deliveries for the families with whom we partner. That's number eight.
Number nine, and we're almost there: data-driven services and continuous improvement, the notion that we're always learning, we're always collecting information both individually as we see each family and then as we think about the families that we see as a group and we talk to our colleague home visitors about our shared experience or maybe consult with a mental-health consultant or a health consultant around an individual family or the groups of families. We take our collective experience, and we collect information with families. We reflect with them on what we're learning from them. We acknowledge them as experts, and then we use the information to inform their goal setting, planning and implementation as well as our program level goal setting, planning and implementation so that we can really better understand, what kinds of work are we doing with family? What are the practices with families that do really lead to progress and positive outcomes for families, for children, but also for our own work as professionals, for the programs in which we work and the communities of which we're a part?
Finally, last but not least, RBC number 10 really describes the professional integrity and set of knowledge, skills and practices that really help us demonstrate the best possible professional work we can do in the home visiting field. And it also actively delineates not only what our obligations are around professional practice, so it includes things like confidentiality and setting boundaries in terms of our own work and how we present ourselves to families, but it also includes a very important component that really talks about our own commitment and expectation of continuous learning ourselves around program development. It also includes a significant component of health care and self-care for us, how we actually manage. So probably enough said there. That's a lot to think about at once, and I can't wait for you to see some of the details, but I'm going to turn this back over to Brandi so that we can have some conversations about these relationship-based practices for home visitors. Brandi?
Brandi: Thanks, Cathy. Well, we are going to lean in to you guys. Several of you are asking really great questions that we're going to hope to get to as the second part of this conversation progresses, but what we want to hear from you first is this first question. Which of the RBCs apply most commonly to your work? Now, we've put up here on the screen what Cathy just reviewed for you, and what I'd like you to do — We're going to test out some functionality of this new platform. You should be seeing a purple Q and A widget at the bottom of your screen, and many of you have already tried it out. If you click that, you can type your answer into the answer portion of that widget. So first of all, we're just going to focus on that first question, which of the RBCs apply most commonly to your work? And we'll give you a couple of seconds to go into that purple Q and A widget and type in your answer. Angelica, I like how you work. Angelica tells us, "One through 10, sister." She's got all of these connected.
As you guys are answering — Oh, I see a lot of fours. Julia comes in with all. Lisa says nine. Michelle, I don't know if you have sort of snuck onto this, but you used exact words like family well-being and families as learners. Did you guys make the connection to the PFCE Framework? Because, Tina, you had a good question in chat and a nod toward the PIR, which is, like, "Gosh, wouldn't it be nice if we could capture some of these things in the PIR that we do every year, the program information report that's due at the end of August?" One of the ways that we can lean into these that we're really excited about is the language you'll recognize if you know the Parent, Family, Community Engagement framework. The pieces that you see here are directly connected, these competencies. We know that the framework tells the story of how we do what we do with and beside families, and if we have high-quality systems and strong systems and high-quality services, then we are set up for families and children to succeed toward their own growth, and we do that all through relationship-rooted practices, of which many of you have already mentioned. So the great thing about this is you'll recognize a lot of the language. So that first one, the positive goal-oriented relationships, it's totally the arrow from the PFCE Framework. A lot of the other ones, you'll notice, come right from the blue column and the family-engagement outcome that you already know and love.
And, oh, by the way, those are in the performance standards. Those blue family-engagement outcomes, of which there's seven, like family well-being, positive parent-child relationships, families as learners — I think Michelle mentioned them earlier. All of those come directly from there, so there's a lot of overlap here on purpose because we are all driving toward each of these pieces programmatically, as individuals one-on-one beside families, and we're thinking about how we get toward those outcomes through those relationships, and I love how Cathy explains this because then you get a splash of, like, eight, nine and 10, which bring in together some of those coordinated services that we think about from the performance standards and, of course, you know, the data which is woven throughout and professional growth and development. So I'm going to come back to your Q and A widget so I can see what else you're saying here. Oh, my goodness. We've gone one, two, three, four, five, six and 10.
Ashley, I like the way you broke that down. Really, I think the first three or four really are, like, integral to all of our collective work. Like, we can all, no matter our role, find ourselves woven in there, but I like, Ashley, how you threw in 10, the professional development piece there at the end. And, Tanya, you weren't too far off from that. You did the same kind of rhythm there. Theresa, this is one of our favorites, the self-aware and culturally responsive. I don't know if you guys have seen our new framework, but in the positive goal- oriented relationships arrow, we now have a part that we, throughout the entire framework, that speaks to equity, inclusiveness and cultural and linguistic responsiveness, so it's one of our new points of pride that we're excited to be able to, my new word, concrete-itize. All right. Well, now let's pause here because I want to transition into the second question, which is, where do you want to spend more time? Like, as you look as these 10 competencies, and you want to get your hands on this document, where do you want to go to really think about how you want to sort of take your trajectory as a professional in your role as a home visitor. You can use that same purple Q and A widget to answer again, and we'll check in on what you're saying there.
Okay, some of you are saying that you'll use it as part of your resources, that's what Theresa is saying. For this webinar, I see a few of you are looking at leadership and advocacy potentially as places that you want to hover. Number 10, I'm getting a few of those professional-development pieces. I'll have to tell you guys, I want to foreshadow a little bit here. We have this great assessment that we're going to show you in a little bit that allows you to take the competency that you really want to focus on, and it allows you to assess yourself and sort of where you want to focus, and then, separately, it allows your supervisor to see where they would like to focus in support of you and the families and all of us together in support of each other, the families and the children. So I can't wait to show you guys that here in a little bit. Cathy, did you see something, or, Shela, you guys want to add?
Cathy: This is Cathy. One thing that I wanted to say or just to emphasize is that, you know, some of you have said, "Oh, I want to focus on, you know, two, five and seven." And others have said, you know, "Five is hard for me to understand," or, "I think I'll look at three first." And I just wanted to say, all of those approaches are great, and you should really feel comfortable, first of all, saying, "There's some things I do really well here, so let me pull down some of the things I do well and make sure that I really feel like I'm comfortable with the knowledge, with the skills and the practices." Other folks may want to say, "You know, I can manage, like, eight or nine of these, but there are a couple where I'm not as comfortable." And, you know, different strokes for different folks, and we all do this differently.
No one has to look at all 10 at the same time and go, "Oh, my gosh. How am I going to manage this?" because the aim is really to be able to give you enough information that's clear and, as Brandi said, is measurable as possible so you can take a look at where it is that you might want to go to build your own skills and to really enhance your own professional development as a home visitor. So I always want to say that after I've kind of taken 10 or these big topical, you know, areas around our practices and kind of shown them to people, so I love the way that, you know, some of you are looking at one. Some of you are looking at four. Some of you are picking the ones that may be most difficult. Some of them may be easier, and one other thing. I'm also seeing that some of you have particular issues that you're really concerned about. For example, I see, I think Anna C. has said, you know, "Sometimes parents are difficult to get to group activities that you've spent a great deal of time planning, and that can be really frustrating."
Sometimes in order to really understand what might be some strategies for addressing a given issue like that one, you may have to pull from more than one competency, and this is where you're using all of the skills, is you may need to really know your group of parents. You may also need to think about who has those positive goal-oriented relationships with them, and with some families that may be newer to you than others, and families develop those relationships in different ways and at different speeds. So all of those kinds of things may make a difference about how families engage. So there are lots of ways to mix and match. Brandi?
Brandi: Well, Cathy, why don't we look at some of the key terminology so we can showcase a few of these pieces, especially since so many people were looking at that professional-development piece in number 10, and then we want to show you guys some real specifics. Right after we look at this slide, we're going to get to show you a couple of real examples so you can see more about what these actually look like and how they relate to your work.
Cathy: Sounds good. Want me to take these, Brandi?
Cathy: Okay. Well, I'll start, and you add in. So as we went along and developed the competencies, we did identify some key terms that we felt were really important for us to define, particularly when we're thinking about each of the competencies that address a specific content area, but then, most importantly, when we look at 10. So again, first of all, we're talking about coaching, and we know that coaching is a mechanism that has been showing up in our Head Start standards, and so it seemed important to really talk about coaching and to really look at how we really may ask for, if we're working in the field, support from an individual who has knowledge and experience and skill and that they really enter a partnership with a professional and use a process to really help us solidify those skills. We also know, however, and I'm going down to the second-to-the-last one, but there are not only — Coaching is not the only way in which we can really refine and cement practice. So reflective practice is another way to do that, and that really has to do with taking time to think about what's happened, what's happening and what should happen. In other words, to stop and really reflect on where we've been, where we are and where we're going with a family, and often to get support from other people to do that with us. And along with that is reflective supervision, which is really the collaborative relationship that supports our professional growth. And I want to say here that one of the key components of the relationship-based competencies for home visitors is that not only have we delineated in considerable detail the knowledge, the skills and the practices for those of you out in the field providing that direct home visiting service, but we also, right next to them in our resource, have a column that describes the knowledge, the skills and the practices of those individuals who are supervising home visitors. So our notion was we are putting out all this information about the kinds of practices in which you should engage as home visitors around family-engagement issues. We also need to be able to provide that same kind of detail for those people who are supervising you, and, by the way, there's also another column. Not another column, there's another section below the knowledge, skills and practices of the supervisors that really delineate practices for leadership. So beyond that person who supervises you individually, we're also addressing leadership because, as we all know, we can only do our jobs, as we work directly with parents, if we have support and supervision from people in our organization and our organization as a whole. So that's reflective practice and reflective supervision. Let me comment quickly on the other three. Organizational culture: I think we just wanted to be able to define that. That is the shared set of assumptions, beliefs, values and goals that guide staff interactions. So the organizational culture around family engagement is very important to your individual work, and then there's something we call parallel process. And, for me, this is something that home visitors know so well because this is when an individual's behavior and practices are similar to the behaviors, practices or interactions others working in parallel. So you may look to your supervisor to emulate the kind of practices that you are really interested in learning about. You may also, when you go into a family's home, also model behaviors. So the parallel process is really critical, and it's something that you'll see referenced across the relationship-based competencies as a way to be. It's not just what we know, but it's a way that we work to really model the assumptions, beliefs, values, goals, knowledge, skills and practices that we know and really embody every day. And finally, last but definitely not least, we wanted to make sure that we talked a bit about professional boundaries, and I don't know about you, but I think that being a home visitor is one of the most amazing, but sometimes the hardest, role to be in, in working directly with families because you're there. You're in a family's home, and when they do come to trust you and to develop a relationship, oftentimes, they will tell you about themselves and their successes and their challenges, and there are times when we can often feel like we just can never do enough. So professional boundaries really is a way of helping us each think about what the extent and the limits of our professional responsibility and roles each are, and the relationship-based competencies encourage professional and positive relationships with families, and the boundaries that we each establish with families need to be respected both from the family's perspective — There may be places that families don't want us to go, and we have to respect those, and that's also true in terms of the boundaries that we may or may not cross in interactions with others. This becomes a very sensitive — And it's both an art and a science. So early childhood professionals carefully consider the difference between personal and professional relationships and also make sure that there is a support system in your organization for guidance and support around assessing relationships with families. This also has to do with ethical guidelines about relationship boundaries, and we know that, in the home visiting field, that there are a number of those, and some of the ethical practices are really defined in detail in the relationship-based competencies for home visitors. Okay.
Brandi: Oh, Cathy, thank you for all of that.
Cathy: And with that, Brandi, let's move on.
Brandi: Well, I want to check because Brenda is saying, "What is this document going to look like?" I want to show her pieces of it, but one the things, too, as we transition that I think you guys will be extra interested in is the coaching piece because one of the parts that Cathy and the authors really wove in as we were thinking about how this could apply specific to work in Head Start was the coaching model and what that looks like, how you guys already utilize those things, the needs assessment that you do, specifically within the practice-based coaching model. The assessment that we'll show you here in a little bit is a really nice fit for that. There's another piece as well with the observable parts and reflections that you do with your coach that really embed well here. I wanted to mention, Cathy, with this example, you guys will notice that this is specifically for home visitors, and we're going to show you one in a second for home visitor supervisors, so I wanted to make that distinction here, but we're looking at that third competency, the family well-being and families as learners. So you guys remembered what I asked. Remember those three phrases and words. So knowledge, skills and practices, and here is how it breaks down. So the knowledge, of course, knows how to recognize family resilience, strengths, resources, unique gifts and talents. I think it was Tina earlier, that made sort of a nod toward the PIR, and it's really craving the part of being able to recognize the family's strengths and all those talents. Then for the skills, use that supportive nonjudgmental approach to talk with parents on any topic, but here specifically about difficult or sensitive topics. And then, with the practice, talk with families about their well-being, short and long-range goals. Well, you know, we have that, the family-partnership process that that could fall into, and then offer resources and referrals if appropriate. Now, I want to pause at this practice piece too because this is the part that folks have really been looking at to weave into the practice-based coaching model. Folks are really looking under each of the competencies directly at the practices to see which ones of these may be observable so that you can weave that into your coaching conversations, so this has been a really neat thing to hear folks explore. Cathy, what else are you thinking about here?
Cathy: The only thing that I was thinking — I think you've done the content great justice here, Brandi. I wanted to mention, just because we don't have a resource for you to look at yet, is that these particular knowledge, skill and practice areas, this is one of eight areas of knowledge under competency three and under nine skill areas and 10 practices. So what you're seeing is an example of a whole series of knowledge, skills and practices that make up this competency number three. I didn't want anyone to think that these were the only things under that competency just because I know —
Brandi: Mm-hmm, good point.
Cathy: — we don't have a full reference for folks yet.
Brandi: Well, Cathy, that speaks to, too, this graphic and just sort of looking at how the capacity-building piece stacks on itself. Again, here, you see the knowledge, skills and those individual practices stacked upon each other, and we also kind of, using that same frame, wanted to think about what these look like for supervisors. Can you take us through this one, Ms. Cathy?
Cathy: Sure. So again, as you remember, we have knowledge, skills and practices for home visitors, but here are, now, the parallel set of practices for your supervisors. So when we're looking at competency three, we really are expecting supervisors to know how to help home visitors recognize family resilience, strengths and resources, to really help differentiate a family's unique gifts and talents and to recognize what families already do to maintain family well-being and to cope with challenges. So those are some of — That's the knowledge base that a supervisor needs, and then the skill would actually be to work with home visitors to enhance their skills in crisis management, considering this knowledge base, and, finally, that the supervisor would offer training and coaching for home visitors about working with families around issues related to family well-being and adversity. Now, I want to point out when we're looking at supervisors, there are responsibilities that we've outlined in the competencies for supervisors around practices. This does not necessarily mean that the supervisor does all the training and coaching him or herself. It means that the supervisor is responsible for making sure that that training is offered and that coaching is available so that when you take a look at the practices for supervisors, they also depend on the leadership in their organization to also make these things available. So, for example, for competency three, the first leadership practice says, "Ensures that all staff, including home visitors, have support for the practice of self-care," and the second one really is, "Ensures all professionals complete training." So there are, again, a list of things, hopefully all the way up the ladder in the organization, that provide support systems for those of you working in the field. Brandi?
Brandi: I feel like this piece, this next piece, is what we've been leading up to. These are the assessments that we mentioned, and what you see on the left-hand side is the book that's specific for home visitors, and, Cathy, you know, I think I want to say here, about the broad-based language that lives within these documents, these were written for all early childhood professionals, and you'll notice that the language that is utilized in each of these role-based documents is big and broad. So not only does it apply to what we do in Head Start, it applies to child care It applies to home visiting models, and Cathy alluded to this a little earlier, which is amazing. It's been cross-logged with, like, the NACE Code of Ethics, NASW, because you guys, as I said, walk that incredible straddled line between all things human-service delivery and education expert. So you are, like, the full package. You have all of it. So what we have here for you is not only the home visiting document on the left, but the two assessments on the right, one for home visitors and then one for home visitor supervisors. And I think you're really going to like these when you get a hold of them, and what we've learned is to focus on one of the competencies. That's why we kind of nudge you toward "Which one do you think you'd like to sort of get more support around?" Because these things are so big, it's been very helpful for folks to just think about one and then even zoom into just one tier, like the practices as it relates to that coaching model. All right. There's one more quick chat here. I can't believe we're almost at time with you guys. It's flown by. Now that you've had a moment to think about each of these 10, now that you've had a tiny sneak peek of a couple with some detail and specific, which one do you think you're going to work on next? You can go back to that purple Q and A widget and put it in the answer space. And, Cathy, of course, you know, we're excited about this and everybody else is excited about this. Will you remind us when these are going to be out and posted for the whole world to go live and love?
Cathy: Brandi, we're hoping that they will be posted in the next month, but, Shela, you can also step in here. We have to go through a process of getting things posted, and, as I recall, they are really up and just in a queue waiting to go up, so we are hoping that they will be posted before the end of this month.
Brandi: I feel like that's a, "Drumroll, please," moment.
Brandi: Any moment, any moment!
Cathy: And I probably should say, one of the reasons that these are a little behind the other relationship-based competencies, and you can to go ECLKC now and take a look at the other components of the sweet suite that Brandi showed you, but one of the reasons is that we did some extra review. We've had many, many folks
review these: first and foremost, you know, home visitors on the ground, their supervisors, home visiting programs, but we did an extra pass with folks at MIECHV and some additional work across the home visiting field because we really wanted to make sure that they were in sync. And we also really wanted to make sure, as I said, that we give those of you who are doing home-based Early Head Start work specifically something that you really can claim for your own, so we took another 6 weeks to get these out, and they will be out very, very soon.
Brandi: Cathy, I love how people — Stephanie in the chat is saying, "I absolutely" — I mean we have proclamations in the chat over here. I love that you guys are excited and that you're already finding things that you'd like to focus on. I mean, these can be used for your PD planning. For those of you that are supervisors, you can actually aggregate these, I mean, those assessments and see where your staff really want to focus. People use these for, of course, reflective practice and supervision, as Cathy mentioned, but also the coaching model. There's just no end to the possibility, and we're just so proud to be able to have one for you guys specifically. We really are grateful, the work that you get to do every day, and I can't believe we're already at the end of our time, so I should — The good Southerner in me should turn it back over to our host and hostesses to bid you an official farewell.
Angela: Thank you, Brandi, Cathy and Shela. We are just super excited and so appreciative of all of the amazing information you've been able to provide on this webinar this afternoon. I just want to remind our amazing audience to please take a moment and fill out the evaluation form. Evaluations, it will close after 3 days after the webinar, and after you've submitted your evaluations, you could download a certificate of completion for your participation this afternoon. We really appreciate all of your attendance, and we hope you found this information as exciting as we have, and we would like to tell you all to have a wonderful rest of the afternoon. Thank you.Close
Additional Resources for Relationship-Based Competencies for Home Visitors
Discover the importance of establishing effective relationships with families. Learn how these bonds can support family well-being and parents' ability to support their children's healthy development. Watch this webinar to find out how Relationship-Based Competencies to Support Family Engagement: A Guide for Early Childhood Professionals Who Make Home Visits can help with this work.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning
Program Option: Home-Based
Audience: Home Visitors
Series: Home Visitor Series
Last Updated: January 3, 2019