4.1 The Job Description


What Is It?

What should the home visitor job description include? The HSPPS and Head Start Act provide a good base for the kinds of knowledge, experiences, and skills that home visitors should have. The job description should also include responsibilities related to the home-based program option elements, such as conducting home visits of at least 90-minutes with each child/family; conducting two socializations each month; introducing, arranging, and/or providing Head Start (HS) comprehensive services; conducting screening and ongoing assessment; and maintaining records. (See the Home Visitor’s Handbook, Chapter 5, “Elements of the Home-Based Option,” for a complete list.)

You may want to identify dispositions and skills that enable home visitors to form authentic relationships with parents/families, such as the ability to demonstrate empathic, respectful, nonjudgmental relationships and to problem solve challenging situations. Home visitors should also be familiar with the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of children and families enrolled in the program. This allows home visitors to more effectively address the strengths and needs of families and to provide more meaningful support and guidance. Whenever possible, home visitors should speak the language(s) of children and families with whom they will be working.

In addition to the home visitor qualifications required by the HSPPS and Head Start Act, the job description should identify the specific educational, professional, and personal experiences necessary to achieve your program’s goals. Consider identifying the knowledge and work experiences that meet the needs of the families in your program. For example, if your program works with teenage parents, home visitors should be knowledgeable about teen development and the dynamics operating in multigenerational families.

Learn More

Deepen your program's relationships with families using the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework and the requirements in the Head Start Program Performance Standards. This resource outlines skills and strategies for staff and supervisors working with families.


This skill profile supports the development of an individual staff development plan for a home visitor. It includes a list of skill indicators with a brief description of each skill needed to carry out job responsibilities.