Exploring the Relationship-Based Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals Who Make Home Visits
Shela Jooma: So, hello and welcome to Exploring the Relationship-Based Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals Who Make Home Visits. This is the fourth webinar in our series for the Relationship-Based Competencies.
You may have joined us earlier in the past couple of months for the Overview, for the RBCs for Teachers and Child Care Providers and for RBCs for Family Services Professionals. So, we’ll start with “Welcome and Introductions." You’ve been hearing my voice, I’m Shela Jooma. I’m a project manager with the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, and I have been working on this webinar series, as well as the resources related to the Relationship-Based Competencies. So, I’m excited to be with you this afternoon and I will ask Cathy and then Brandi to introduce themselves.
Cathy Ayoub: Thank you, Shela. Hi everyone, I'm Cathy Ayoub. I’m one of the principal investigators for the National Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, and I’ve actually had the great privilege of shepherding these Competencies through the process, both in our first iteration back a number of years ago and now this suite of Competencies. One of the most important of which is the Competencies for home visitors. So, I’m really pleased to be here to talk about them today. Brandi.
Brandi Black Thacker: Thanks, Cathy. Hey, everybody. It is so good to be with you, even for the first time or again, we’re glad to spend our few moments. It feels like it always goes so fast to the topic instead ideas that we love to think about together and more importantly, with you. My name is Brandi Black Thacker and I’m the director of T/TA and Collaboration for the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement. And what we’re going to do next is have Shela walk us through the objectives to see what we have proposed for today and we’re just jumping in. Lots of good stuff to talk about.
Shela: Thank you, Brandi. That’s right. So, our objectives for today are to discuss how the relationship- based Competencies can be used specifically by home visitors in your work with families in their homes. And we’ll also talk about how you might use the Relationship-Based Competencies for professional development. And we realize that this is the fourth webinar in our series and we have had the opportunity to present the Relationship-Based Competencies in other settings. So, I will ask our Adobe Connect producer to open up our pool and we want to find out from you where and how you’ve done this before. So, have you joined all four of the previous ones in our series? Have you joined some of the previous webinars? We also did a similar webinar for the home visitor series led by my colleagues at the National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning.
Were you on that one? Or is this the first webinar you’re joining? We recognize that some of you wear multiple hats in your program and so maybe you're learning about how the Competencies apply to the various roles that you fill. Some of you are supervisors and you supervise people in different roles. So, the Competencies are really relevant to a lot of different folks in the area of early childhood development and we realize that some of you may have joined us in a number of different venues.
So, where have you heard from us? For a lot of you, this is the first webinar an and an almost equal number have joined some of the webinars before. A few people have joined all four. Seems like we have a fan club for the Relationship-Based Competencies and if you’re just joining us, we’re just looking at if you’ve joined the series on the Relationship-Based Competencies before. All right, just another few seconds to get your responses and then we’ll keep us moving forward through this presentation. A few of you are letting us know in the chat whether this is your first or second or fourth webinar.
All right, I’m going to go ahead and broadcast the results. You can see what we’ve heard from you. So, the majority, almost 50 percent say that this is the first webinar on the Relationship-Based Competencies.
Similarly, some of you have joined previous webinars and a small number have joined all four, Nina can you go ahead and close the poll? Thank you so much.
Great. So, I will now ask Brandi to take us forward and let us know what are the Relationship-Based Competencies.
Brandi: Thank you, Shela. Thank you so much. Well, we’re happy to be back with so many of you and equally as excited to have many of you for the first time. The web took off with what are these elusive RBCs, as we call them lovingly for short. The Relationship-Based Competencies. Cathy alluded to this a little in her opening remarks when she said hello and introduced herself, but this is really a second or third iteration. If you guys have been aware of Competencies that have been and were established for folks who walk beside and for families, they go back to at least 2001 and in our first five years at the National Center, we established alongside OHS a second version of those and this is the new and improved updated what I call the sweet suite materials. Let me walk you through what you see on the screen here. So, you’ll have a grounding in how these things are organized, so when you jump into the version that is specific to home visitors, you’ll know how it all fits together.
The thing that you see on the left-hand side of your screen in the green box, is what we call the overview of the Relationship-Based Competencies. And this is for all of us who work in early childhood fields to use for our own trajectory as we walk beside families. Now, you guys have a very exciting and important role, because you get to play and share several levels of expertise as home visitors. Not only how you partner directly with the adult in the family to serve toward the child development, but certainly you’re in a relationship with the child as well and it can be in the family’s home space.
So, you have a lot of incredible things that you bring into that space and one of the things that this green book, or the universal one is written for is for all of us. Things that are consistent that we all need in our toolbox or toolbelt, if you will, as we walk beside families. At the top, on the right-hand side, you'll see that we wrote one also specific for family service folks. One of the things that we’ll talk about also here in a little bit is we made the language embedded throughout each of these documents super broad so it can connect with many folks in the early childhood community. And one of the things that I think you'll love about this is that it’s been crosswalked.
Each of these have been crosswalked with multiple other paradigms, discipline and other fields. So, for those of you that are enhancing what you do in your program in other ways, like with other codes of ethics or other even, like, you know the NAECY code, these align so nicely. I think you’ll see, you let us know as we get deeper in, but you'll notice the broad language like family service professionals, that’s really to resonate with not only how we do what we do within Head Start and Early Head Start, but for other folks who work within early childhood community. The second one down you’re going to see is for teachers and child care providers.
This is mostly center-based care, you might imagine. Folks who work with children in group settings. And certainly, last but not least, we’ve been so excited to get to connect with you guys, the document that’s specific for you as home visitors. We’re going to get into some detail around this as we go on this afternoon, but I want to also share with you in this suite of materials, we have these incredible assessments. These are pictured on the right-hand side of your screen. The part I love, one of the many parts I love about the Relationship-Based Competencies, not only do you have these concrete ideas of knowledge, skills and practices that are necessary to work toward these Competencies, but we actually created these assessments that go along with it. Not only for home visitors and the other roles that we talked about, but their supervisors.
So, you can use these as your own way to assess where you are and where you want to go with the professional. Your supervisors can use these for looking at where they are. They can help walk besides you in a reflective practice type way. These things just have no bounds. I mean, folks have been using them in all kinds of ways that we hoped, and in many ways that we could have never predicted. So, we want to give you a heads up about these right up front. Not only do you have the green universal book and the blue book that’s specific to home visitors, but you have these assessments that coincide and folks have found very beneficial in their work.
So, we want to see this as the Relationship-Based Competencies so our tech goddess Miss Nina is going to switch us over to a poll that asks how familiar you are with RBCs, those Relationship-Based Competencies. So, click here. You know it. You love it. You live it. You have it memorized. These are for long-term users of the RBCs. You might have known of them in a previous iteration. And we want to know specifically, if you had a peep at these current ones. So, you know it, you love it, you live it. And the second one is “I have a general understanding, but I have to reference it regularly.” I know what they are and the acronyms, but not regular use. And the third one is, “I'm familiar with it, but I'm ready to absorb some more.” Like, tell me more.
And then the last one, “What is an RBC?” Which many of you said you're joining for the first time, so we’re happy to help with that part.
So, let’s see some voting here. Many of you are familiar but want to know more. It looks like we have a front runner here of you guys are familiar but want to better absorb the contents. Looks about like half of us and then there’s a pretty heated split between “I have a general understanding” and “What is an RBC?”
Take just a couple more seconds to lock in your vote and then we’ll publish the results, so you can see what we look like as a whole group. All right, let’s broadcast. This is how it fell out. About half of us are familiar but want to absorb more. Others have a general understanding and then folks, some of you are just being introduced for the first time. So, we hope to have something for everybody here today and there is a percentage of you who know it well, live it, have it memorized. So, feel free to chime in in general chat and teach us all of your ways. We certainly want to create this space to learn from each other as well. All right. We’re going to transition back to the regular view here. So, if you were in mid-sentence typing, you can pick it right back up on this side. But what we would really like to do now is talk a little bit about what are these RBCs in the first place and there is nobody that can do that better than the one and only, Dr. Cathy Ayoub. So, I’m going to turn it over to her to speak to the definition.
Cathy: Thank you, Brandi. So, what are we talking about? What are these Relationship-Based Competencies? They’re really a set of knowledge. So, what we know. Skills, what we can do. They involve personal practices and then this whole group of other characteristics. Attributes, behaviors, actions - that are really necessary for us to be good practitioners. Confident practitioners in our family engagement work and home visiting. So, it’s really important to think about, kind of, all these things together and looking at all the different dimensions of Competencies and what would make up a competency. Brandi.
Brandi: Now, Cathy, you know what I like to do on this spot. I need you guys to put a pin on these first three words and inaudible Remember, knowledge, skills, and individual practices, because we are going to come back to those and I’d like to tease, well, just a little bit, and say these are a secret decoder ring for how to use this document. So, let me tell you a little bit about what I mean here. Knowledge, skills and practices. I’d describe these as the three tiers, if you will, that live under the umbrella of each competency. So, you know, I’m not very good at math, but I’m going to throw some numbers out. There are ten Competencies overall. Each of the Competencies has these three tiers or layers underneath. And Listen to this formula.
This is really useful. You can see here how we’ve operationally defined each of these, but knowledge is what we know, the skills are what we need to be able to do and then the practices give those concrete key examples of what we actually do. So, those three things together, you see how we have that cute little design. Knowledge + skills + practices = over to the right, in the blue bubble, professional practice. And look how we did. This is the combination of those three things that are measurable, observable, I'm pausing here on observable. Home visitors also have the requirement in head start for coaching. We know that being able to observe all the incredible things that you do within the construct of your work is a big part of that coaching piece.
So, that word is really critical for this discussion in particular. So, measurable, observable and describe what a person needs to know about how to do their work successfully. So, each of these pieces are really key in that, you know, pun intended, that they really inform where you're going to go with these in service of making progress toward the Competencies. And actually, we want to tell you little bit more about some of the key terminology and Cathy’s going to take
Cathy: Thank you, Brandi. So, there were a couple of, Really three key terms that we wanted to make sure that were clear. So, family engagement. We know it’s an interactive process. We know it really involves the exchange of information and ideas where providers and other professionals, in this case, those of you home visitors, family members and children, really together build positives. In other words, strength-based positive relationships. But they're also goal-directed, which means that as home visitors, we really have a focus on how is it that we want to support the well-being and the ability of parents to learn with all of our seven outcomes in the PFCE framework that really support children and their positive outcomes.
So, we have these goals in mind and we use our positive relationship with families to build them. That’s really what we’re talking about here. So, it’s doing with families, not for them. It’s partnering for them. It's thinking about this at the program level. It's really supporting families to be able to set goals to choose for themselves and then again, as we’ve said to work with families and with other professionals in the community and with other people within our programs to really promote family progress in the context of also thinking about equity, inclusiveness and cultural and linguistic responsiveness. So, that’s a lot to take in there, but we wanted to make sure that we had that comprehensive definition of family engagement. So, when we talk about parents and families, we also wanted to make sure that we could think about both parents and families through different cultural lenses, through different family constellation or orientation lenses, but we did want you to know that when we talk about parents and families, we’re talking about the adults who really have responsibilities for caregiving, both legal, formal and informal in working with the children that are really those children for which we have some responsibility to serve.
And finally, we really wanted to emphasize strength-based perspectives or approaches and obviously, this is an approach that many of you now know. As Brandi said, “love and live.” That really helps us focus on the interests, abilities, motivations and resources when working with families. So, instead of focusing only on problems in the strength-based approach, we really see families as capable; as experts around their own children and really having the capacity to work to achieve their goals. Now, that doesn't mean that we don’t together partner with families to really support them in thinking about difficult issues or difficult situations, but it does mean that we approach this from a positive, strength-based perspective. So, Brandi, back to you.
Brandi: Thank you, Cathy. Excuse me. We have some really good questions in the chat and I wanted to address a couple of things real quick, because you know, we need to know about our logistical bits here. One thing I want you guys to reference, Over on the left-hand side we have some web links, that you probably see about midway down your screen. You can actually click those to go see the resources that we mentioned a little earlier, it’ll take you away from this screen. So, just fair warning in case you hit those. But you have to click on each one and then the button that says “browse to” will activate. It will take you away once that happens, when you click “browse to”. The other thing that we want to make sure that you, see are the files for download, we have the overview document in there and we have the home visitors document in there. So, I want to make sure that if you want those and you want to download them and have them on your computer readily available, those are there for you as well. We also have all of this good stuff on the ECLKC. So, you can go find that anytime that you are ready for it. It'll be there for you for free to go download. So, we wanted to point those out. The other thing here is, I wanted to just honor some of the comments that were coming through.
A couple of you had asked, “Is this new information? This looks similar to a webinar that we might have sit in on before.” Yes, there is some information here at the beginning that we like to offer to get everybody solidified on and around, so we all are coming from the same space. We’re about to pivot, really soon actually, to those information-specific to home visitors. With that, Cathy, I know we want to talk through the components of the RBCs that are specific to the home visitors, and we want you guys to be thinking here, as we go through these, because Cathy is going take you through each one, and while they’re organized in a certain way, just so you have some of these tips and tricks from the authors and the intentionality. So, as you use them, you will have those shortcuts. We want you to be thinking about which one of these RBCs do you think apply most commonly to your work. One or a couple, and which one or ones do you want to spend more time understanding. So, this is a little bit of like a planting of a seed, because we’re going to ask you this after we go through all ten. Cathy, let’s look at these quickly and see what everybody thinks.
Cathy: Sounds good, Brandi. Well, first of all, I want to commend the folks who are saying, “Hey, some of this sounds familiar.” We’ve heard this before. Yes. One of the things that you'll notice, if you take a look across the suite, is that there are ten major categories or areas, competency areas, that we’re suggesting home visitors address.
These are the same large categories for the other role-based family engagement Competencies. And that was really very intentional, because at a high level it makes sense that all of you working with families in care programs would really have the same larger goals. However, you'll see as we talk about each of these ten in the context of home visiting, there's lots of detail around the ways in which you may concretely have special knowledge that you need. Here's Brandi’s decoding, remember?
Knowledge that you really need. Skills that you really may want to develop that are specific to being a home visitor And working with that family in their home and individual practices that also may be very specific and unique to your roles as home visitors. So, what we’ve tried to do here is not only talk about what’s very specific to what you do and think about, you know, how would you go about doing this? But also take this up so that you can have a common language with which to talk to your colleagues in center-based care, to talk to your supervisors, to talk to family service folks. So, you will see both similarities and hopefully, as we really dig more deeply today, some of the specifics. So, with that said, here are the first four Relationship-Based Competencies for home visitors. The first four categories.
Let's think about those, both generally and in the context of home visiting. Another secret and Brandi, I hope you’ll say more about this, is that there is an intentional order to the listing of these Competencies. The first two really help you think about your overall orientation and relationship with families. So, the first one is positive goal-oriented relationships and we’re looking to have home visitors engage in mutually respectful positive goal-oriented relationships. They’re those key three words in working with families.
Again, the goal is ultimately to promote positive child and family outcomes. So, there may be a number of different ways that you as home visitors are building relationships with families, because you're being invited into family's homes. You have some unique opportunities for developing positive goal-oriented relationships in some very specific ways. So, as you download the documents that Brandi mentioned are over on the left side of your screen, you will see a lot of detail listed around knowledge, skills and practices for each of these larger categories. And so, if you take a look now under what you see for goal-oriented relationships, you'll see that there are list of anywhere from five to ten knowledge points, five to ten skill points and five to ten practice points. We go to the second one, Self-aware and Culturally Responsive Relationships. Again, this is respecting in response – and responding to values, language, cultures, family structures for each family and really identifying the family as unique. You have a special opportunity to do this as a home visitor because you actually get to see the way that families build their homes, and I know many of you know that is a real plus; you get a vision of the family. Then we go to 3 and 4 and we're now really starting to build on some of the major areas of focus in your practice as home visitors. So, number 3, Family Well-being and Families as Learners. As adult learners we never stop learning. So, the home visitor supports the family's reflections on and planning for their safety, health, education well-being and life goals.
And this encompasses, you know, all the wonderful positive enrichment activities and exercises and practices that we engage in with our children and our families as well as it addresses some of the kinds of adversities that families and children can experience. Number 4, Parent-child Relationships and Families as Lifelong Educators. Again, as a home visitor you are in a unique position to really support and promote parent-child relationships in the context of the everyday activities and routines, that you have the privilege to observe in a family's home. You also are there to support families as the first and most significant teachers for their children. And often times you may be one of the first professionals that is able to engage with the family in the context of supporting that parent in providing a system for helping that child learn. So, I saw a question down in here. So, if it's okay, I would just going to answer. Claudia had a question about are the RBCs research based? So, I will count on you Brandi to to tell me when to move on but I wanted to address that just briefly. In writing Relationship-Based Competencies, we did a great deal of background work. Yes, we went to the research literature and we took a look at what the expectations were for home visitors, we took a look at what are the things that home visitors can successfully do in partnering with families around family engagement, what are some of the family engagement outcomes as you might imagine because we here we're really focusing also on early head start and on home-based early head start programs.
So, we hope that those of you in early head start home-based programs this is your document. We certainly think it applies to home visitors across other home visiting models and we hope that we're in a the process of – we’re sharing that with a larger community. But in that context we did a lot of looking at Early Head Start home-based work in terms of research. But then we also went and we've looked at who else in our early childhood field has developed Competencies for home visitors. So, we looked at national level home-visiting Competencies across the board, some of them included some components on family engagement; some more, some less. We also took a look at all of the work out of the maternal infant early childhood home-visiting movement both for States and Tribal communities. We then looked at a number of State models. I was just talking to some folks in Pennsylvania again yesterday and we were talking about their Competencies for home visitors which again cover much more than family engagement for home visitors and a number of States have these programs.
We talked to professors who are teaching courses now o home visiting and there actually are a number of courses in universities where home visiting is the topic. We took a look at some of the move to – and what the requirements were for home visitors across programs. And then we've, in particular, looked at the home visiting models, the home visiting curricula that particularly of those of you on early head start were using and what the basis of their evidence was also; things like parents as teachers, baby talk, growing great kids so – and I’m sure there's some that we've forgotten. So, Claudia, I hope that helps answer your question and thank you for indulging me the extra time.
Cathy: So, let's move on.
Brandi: Okay, Cathy. Now, I have to say we are getting ready to look at a another example here; we totally want to do that. But I also wanted to mention something that we learned over time. That is a critical distinction, more secret behind the curtain shortcuts. One is these RBCs are for us as early childhood professionals. These are connected to our own Competencies and our professional development trajectory. However, and, I say “and,” you recognize a lot of the words in the Competencies because they come from the blue column of our PFCE Framework and those Family Engagement Outcomes. So, even here you're going to notice parent-child relationships, and for those of you know what is happening around our Framework, you'll know that the positive parent-child relationships outcome is the second of seven in that blue column of the framework. So, families, of course, Make progress toward those outcomes alongside of us. We have these Competencies that totally are connected. I feel like we need a drum roll or some kind of sound effect because that part is so exciting! We wanted to make sure you guys didn’t have to do that hard work. We wanted to do work to make those connections real because you – then a lot of incredible integrations for the Framework into systems, one, and then two, we know that you’re using other things within your program then we really wanted you to find those connections like Deidra did earlier. She said, “Hey, we use this thing, looks like this aligns pretty well. Like I see some synchronicity here.” So, just a couple of things, Cathy, I want to point out. As you show these guys this example of those secret words: knowledge, skill and practices — remember under Competency number 4. So, let me pause there.
Cathy: Sounds good. So, if we take a look at this example — we just wanted to dig a little bit more deeply — so this is Competency 4 that we just took a look at, Parent-Child Relationships and Families as Lifelong Learners. And again, this is the knowledge that the home visitor gained/has, the skills the home visitor learned and then the practices, the everyday work, the doing that the home visitor engages in. So, I want to be really clear, these are really Competencies and describe the activities for the home visitor. So, knowledge, so the home visitor understands the values of focusing on family strengths, in particular, what families already do to build strong parent-child relationships and then also the home visitor supports each family members development and learning.
So, the first is to have an understanding of what those constructs mean and what they look like. Then the next step is to communicate with families about child progress using the knowledge base from the knowledge section in ways that deepen trust and build relationships with families. So, the skill has to do with how the home visitor communicates in a way to achieve the goals under skills. And finally, when we look at what the practice looks like that home visitors use what they understand and their knowledge about communication to learn from parents through that communication exchange with that knowledge base of focusing on family strengths, learns from parents about how to recognize their child's verbal and nonverbal cues and what they may mean. So, this is just one set of the items that a series of items that are contained under the larger competency, and we wanted to give you this as an example because as you can see as you begin to dig more deeply you really begin to think about so, “How do I do this as a home visitor? What kind of knowledge do I need that's going to help me understand what it means to focus on family strengths?”
Brandi: And, you know, Cathy, I love the way this scaffold with and on each other because so many of us have, you know, been doing this work in this program option model for a good long time. So, this shows like, “Okay, do I understand like if you’re new or if you're tenured like do I need a refresher?” This allowed us to really think meaningfully about where we are in this little – these tiers. And so, if, you know, you're looking at, “Gosh, do I really create this space like I’ll learn from parents?” I’m looking at the practice. I learn from parents about how to recognize their child's verbal and non-verbal cues but gosh I could probably create more space for them to share those kinds of things. So, that's what those assessments do that I showed you a little earlier; we’ll look at those again here a little bit. But I want I get really excited to think about this model in particular and how you guys really straddle both lines of expertise with the development of the child that through and beside the relationship you build with the family. So, Cathy, I know we've got so much more to look at. I don't want to hold us up but I just really love the way these stack on each other. But I know you're picking up with number 5.
Cathy: Okay. Let's get to 5. So, Family Connections to Peers and Community. So, the home visitor works with families to strengthen their support networks, their connections whatever those may be; they may be with other parents, they may be with neighbors, they may be with other community members, they may be formal or informal. And it also involves in this context those folks who can help families with their strengths or interests and their challenges. Number 6, and you can see of these three are now building on each other and you can think of them in some ways as a group that describe we're going from, “What do I do with a home visitor? With my individual relationship with a home visitor, what are the key issues that the family may raise?” And now, we're moving to “How does a home visitor support families in connections to peer and communities?” Five, six, “How do home visitors support families’ access to community resources? How do I as a home visitor really help families’ use the community resources in order to make progress? How can they take advantage of what is available in their neighborhoods, in their communities, in their – in the larger area in which they live to be able to support their positive childhood and family outcomes?” And number 7 and by the way, this one is new in this iteration of the Competencies, Leadership and Advocacy because – and you can see as a home visitor, I’m moving from supporting family connections to peer and community to really helping families access to community. And now, I’m also supporting families and working alongside them to really help them build their strengths as advocates for themselves, for their families, for their children, for work and progress within their community, maybe the leadership in their community, leadership in their county, leadership in their state, leadership in their tribe. Again, families take us in many different amazing directions around their own capacity and demonstration of leadership and advocacy. So, as a home visitor part of my responsibility is to be able to be competent in being able to execute these three.
Cathy: With that –
Brandi: Well, Cathy, one of the things that I was thinking about for those folks who have known this before we learned a couple of lessons and, you know, we get very excited to talk about the RBCs that we started to bring these specific examples to the role within the context of reviewing the ten Competencies that you saw how Cathy did 1 through 4 then we stopped to look at an example for home visitors. Now, she did 5, 6 and 7, and we’re going to stop again and look at a real example for supervisors of home visitors. So, Cathy, look at this one.
Cathy: Okay. So, what One of the things I wanted to mention and for those of you who have been able to download the resource, what you’ll see is that the knowledge, skills and practices for home visitors are listed on the left underneath each of the large Competencies. And then right next to them are knowledge, skills and practices for home visiting supervisors. And down at the bottom of that column, on the right, there also are Competencies for leadership. So, leadership is really more than just your supervisor. But what are we expecting the people in leadership positions in our programs to be able to do to support the Competencies of the home visitors? So, let's take a look at Competency 6, Family Access to Community Resources. Yes as a home visitor, I really need to understand the resources in my community so I can support families when they have a need to reach out to one those resources and to benefit from those resources. But I also need my supervisor’s help in doing that.
So, what is my supervisor’s responsibility? I’m expecting my supervisor to understand how to help me as a home visitor to partner with families and to help me understand the nuances of matching community and program resources with the family strengths, interests, and challenges. So, I don't have to gain that understanding or learn that all by myself. I may be a good independent study, but as Brandi said before this also provides some information for me as a home visitor and for my supervisor about what kind of professional development might be helpful, what kind of community connections. So, then we go to skills, and the supervisors, with the expectation is that they're developing systems to ensure that the home visitors that they supervise know about and connect with community partners.
So, as a home visitor, that isn't my sole responsibility. My supervisor also has a responsibility to have the skills that lead to the development of those systems; supervisory practices in terms of practice; the supervisors reviews the home visitor’s practices; and linking families with community services and when their role requires it; and that they become part of the ongoing reflective supervisory practice system. So, that is the expectation of supervisors. And finally, beyond my supervisor, leadership — members of the leadership team in my organization should be able to support me as a home visitor to use community assessment program data and family feedback to form those relationships with community agencies and to improve access. So, you can see some of the parallel we call parallel process between tiers of what the expectations are in terms of Competencies of home visitors but also these are the Competencies for supervisors as well. So, we see that no one is standing alone but there is a system and a group of us together who are really supporting the execution of these Competencies. Brandi?
Brandi: Well, Cathy, I’m excited — Well you knew where my brain was going. One of the things that I’m excited about here I have expected about here is the popping out of the supervisory and leadership practices. For those of you that are, you know, engaged in any way as supervisors in the coaching model, you're going to be able to see here how there's some real important overlap. And we're excited because we know specifically, for instance, for the practice-based coaching model it's encouraged that the supervisors are not technically the coach. But I came from a very tiny Head Start program where I was the director and we wouldn't have had enough people to go around to do that. So, we know that everybody chooses different models of how that works based on your programmatic set up but we wanted to kind of give a little nod there to the supervisory and leadership practices because a lot of times coaches could lean into those for the purpose of that requirement so we don't want just to go by without you guys like, you know, having that as a little pin in the conversation. And conversation And, Cathy,I know we had the last three here ready for viewing and hearing pleasure.
Cathy: Okay. Let's do the last three. You can see these last three really, again, Are a bit different because they really talk about what you as a home visitor or as a home visiting supervisor. I will – and we make sure we include those because they're both included all the way through. These are more comprehensive system-wide or organizational-wide Competencies. The first one really has to do with the organization in which you work, and ways in which you as a home visitor provide coordinated and integrated and comprehensive services, your role to that. And again, home visitors I – at least when I was a home visitor it was a unique position because I was with both the child and the family in their home at the same time.
And so, it really gave me opportunities that people don't have as often in center-based care or – and some of those experiences are – some of them are available to us who do family advocacy work certainly but it does look different when you are going into a home every week. So, you really sometimes are the coordinator just by virtue of the fact that you are in that home with the parent and the family members and the child at the same time. But in addition, this really does mean that you work with not only families and children but with other professionals and agencies to support coordinated, integrated and comprehensive services for families. And this happens within the family, it happens within your organization and the resources you can bring to bear, it happens within the neighborhood or community and it might even spread beyond that. And it also involves, of course, other programs within that community as a whole. Number 9, Data-Driven Services and Continuous Improvement.
This is the charge for us as home visitors to always be learning through collecting information with families both by asking them what they think, how they feel what their choices are, and then also reflect with them, partner with them to really inform their goal setting, their planning and their implementation of their own experiences and actions and we want to make sure that we understand. Then the next step which is then “How does all of this information gathering affect both progress and outcome for families butalso for their children and for programs and for the entire community?” So, that's a fairly big charge but it's really about continuous learning and data-driven services. Finally, last but definitely not least, very important: Professional Growth. This competency has to do with how as a home visitor – I really demonstrate professional practice. I participate actively in opportunities around professional development and learning. And I really look at my own learning, my own lifelong learning in my professional world as a home visitor. Okay. So, that's all ten. So, Brandi it is now back to you.
Brandi: Well, Cathy, I want to – we had this chat opportunity and what we want to do is make sure you guys get the chance to see some of the pieces on professional development. So, you are welcome to let us know. Now that you've seen all ten, which ones you feel like a apply most commonly to your work and which ones you want to spend more time with? And so, think about what that looks like for you. And several of you have already mentioned that to us as a sort of we were talking through them. And finally also, if you know webinars, you know that we always hang out after the top of the hour. We do the webinar for an hour and then we stay around for at least 15 minutes after to answer any questions that are left unanswered for you or if you want to share anything for the greater good of the group.
So, we’ll be hanging out here for you and with you after the top of the hour. What I’d like to do is move us along to some of the professional development pieces. And it looks like the screen has gone away. So, I’m going to go from memory just in case so that we keep it moving because I know our hour has flown by so quickly. One of the pieces that we want to talk through next kind of connects to what I have been mentioning all along which are other key terms that are related to professional development. Coaching is a big one and we've mentioned that a couple of times because we know it’s that something that you – thanks, Nina – something that you guys are working toward that you are required to do in the home visiting model. And we wanted to make sure that we lift it up here not only for the purpose of how we do what we do within the head start construct but we know that coaching is an effective mechanism approach toward all things professional development. So, we wanted to put that right here on the very tippy top. But, Cathy, I know that you like to give us a little quick view over a couple other of these, specifically reflective practice and supervision.
Cathy: Right. But let me just mentioned them briefly. I think that we can take Coaching, Reflective Practice and Reflective Supervision and kind of put them in a big bucket, maybe it's a bucket that’s divided with three different thoughts and see these as tools that we can all use to be able to help us to cement those skills and to really practice those practices. So, they really are three different ways for us to think about what our professional practice looks like either by taking the time to think about what happened, what's happening and what should happen next we can do that with supervision, we can do that with our colleagues, we can do that with families. And then coaching, as Brandi said, is another very specific way of helping us cement skills and really turn those individual skills into everyday practices.
There are other two things on this list. Three, I think profess- organizational culture is pretty self-explanatory. But one of the professional development terms that folks have really focused on has to do with professional boundaries and just considering professional boundaries, the limit of professional responsibility and its role, what it means to develop professional relationships with families. And again, as home visitors in homes, that is often the most intimate kind of setting in which you could spend with a family; it's their home. So, when they invite you in, They’re often inviting you into their everyday life. And so, it's critically important I think in those situations to be able to understand what’s my professional role in the context of the setting of working with families, you know, how much can I do and should I do, what to my – what is the difference between personal and professional relationships. And also, here again, we're back to supervisors, how supervisors and other colleagues can help us understand and reflect and maybe even get involved in some coaching around what we know about professional boundaries. I think I'll stop there with that. And, Brandi, is there any more you want to add here?
Brandi: Well, I was thinking, Cathy, in our few minutes left, let’s work at a couple of pieces. You guys saw the resource suite, the book that's universal for all of us and then the blue book with the blue stripe on the bottom that specific to home visitors in the assessment that go with both, one for home visitors and one for their supervisors. What we’d like to do is take those words that I put a pin in earlier those knowledge, skills and practices, and see how – even with the pyramid, we have this scaffolding opportunity. So, we wanted to just quickly look at a couple of examples for the home visitors and their supervisors side by side so you can see what that looks like. So, you can see here on the left-hand side for the home visitor the knowledge piece, understands the effective ways to talk with families about their well-being, goal setting, family and child assessment, and progress. So, this part is really important because this really leans in to the part that we have there in the relationship building stages and the relationship sustainability over time. And when you look at the right-hand side, you see the supervisor’s piece, that the supervisor understands the importance of being able to support the home visitor then using the data for the ongoing both family and child assessments, the goal setting and progress and the ways to share data. So, create that open space so that not only families receive information but certainly they have the time and space to share back with us. Cathy, give us a little rundown of the skills for each one of these.
Cathy: Sure. So, here we have again skills for staff but the home visitors engaging in conversations about child assessment by asking families to share their perspectives so that’s the skill that has to do with both “How do you communicate? What do we know about child development in a content? How do I do that in a context of a home visitor?” But then the supervisors really need to work with home program leaders and home visitors to ensure that families have the information about their children and that it’s understandable and meaningful. So it’s the supervisor’s responsibility to make sure that every family gets that information in an understandable and meaningful way which really may – at least part of the way that I would interpret that and even build it into a coaching model might be that I really want to see how the supervisor is able to individualize how she or he might go about doing that with a knowledge base that becomes a skill of how do I understand the individual characteristics of this child, their strengths, possibly their challenges, how do I then make it understandable to the family, and do I have strategies to do that, and how can I work with the home visitors with whom I supervise to match that with their own styles so that they can increase their skills to engage in these conversations. So, you really have the side-by-side.
Brandi: So sorry about that, Cathy. Yes, I love the side-by-side.
Cathy: No, no. Go ahead.
Brandi: So that we can see and round out. So, we look at the knowledge, Cathy, just talked about the skills, this is the practice, and this is the concrete part for home visitors, tracking information about individual children and family progress over time to guide how we plan the individual, have them communicate with parents. Well, this is on the one-on-one sort of, you know, level but what I love about this is how as supervisors we can use the data that home visitors cultivate, some in coaching and reflective supervision, but I would humbly submit programmatic planning within the context of the five-year project period. So, those pieces I think are really exciting, so we can see how each other really create the incredible opportunity through data for not only service to and besides our family but programmatic improvement. Cathy, I know that we want to continue to stay in chat, but we are going to do that but there’s this important thing that you guys always ask about, so I don’t want you to miss it.
We take your feedback and we learn and grow from it. So, there is going to be a "thank you" email with a survey link on its way over to you, so look for a message in your inbox. We have those through your registration. And, of course, if you’re joined with other folks. A lot of you joined together, like in a conference room, you’re welcome to forward that on to your colleagues. And you can print the certificate when you complete the survey, so you can use it for your own professional development file. We know you guys track those things and really like to have the hard copy to evidence that.
One of the things that we’re going to do is hang out here for the next at least 15 minutes to answer any questions that you have left. So, I want to thank our whole NCPFCE team, our leadership at the Office of Head Start, and certainly both Cathy and Shela for helping to get out the good word about the sweet suite RBCs.
Most importantly, thanks to each of you for spending your time with us today. It's always an honor.
So, we’ll pause just for a second and then we’ll keep answering some questions for those of you that need to go right away.
Have a good one guys. Thanks for coming.
Cathy: And thank you, Brandi, as always.
In this last webinar of the series, explore ways home visitors can apply the relationship-based competencies (RBCs) in their interactions with families. Find out how to use the RBCs for professional development.