Program Planning

The Many Roles of the Home-Based Supervisor

Home visiting staff in a meeting.As a supervisor in a program with an Early Head Start or Head Start home-based option, you play a pivotal role in the quality of your program’s home visiting and group socialization services.

Supervisors envision the “big picture”: what children need, what families bring to the relationship, how home visitors support families, and how your program supports home-based services. Your many roles include:

  • Teacher, who shares expertise with the home-based staff about the Early Head Start and Head Start programs, children’s healthy growth and development, and home visiting practices
  • Support person, who is a trusted authority figure, caring for and supporting home visitors in their work
  • Model, who demonstrates respectful relationships with others that can be emulated by home visitors in their work with families and children
  • Advocate, who speaks up for home visitors and families in the home-based option and encourages program leaders to meet family and staff needs
  • Program planner, who is an essential contributor to the design and continuous improvement of the services offered to families and children in the home-based option
  • Accountability person, who maintains the integrity of the program by supporting home visitors and the highest quality services
  • Leader, whose vision and commitment to build and maintain a high-quality, home-based program are shared by home-based staff

In addition to these roles, you perform certain functions to ensure that the home-based program option operates effectively and fully meets the requirements of the Head Start Program Performance Standards and other regulations. The functions of the home-based supervisor include staff selection; staff supervision; professional development for staff; sharing expertise in children’s healthy growth and development and family support; and program coordination, monitoring, and self-assessment.

This interactive handbook is designed to support the important work you do as a home-based supervisor and to help you do it well. It provides information about the home-based option, strategies for best practices, video examples for reflection, and resources. It is also a companion to the Home Visitor's Online Handbook. You will find references to it throughout the handbook that illustrate the connection between what home visitors are expected to know and do and your role and responsibilities.

We hope you find this to be an engaging, informative, and useful resource to support your truly important work as a home-based supervisor.