Home Visiting Series: Planning Virtual Home Visits and Socialization Activities with Families
Randi Hopper: Thank you for joining today's webinar on "Planning Virtual Home Visits and Socialization Activities with Families." My name is Randi Hopper, and I'm a Senior Training and Technical Assistant Specialist with the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning. Today, I'm joined by Leslie Maxfield from the National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement, who will be helping me present some of this great information. I also want to acknowledge that we have some very wonderful and knowledgeable people with us today to help answer your questions. We have Dr. G from PFCE, as well as from DTL, we have Donna Ruhland, Joyce Escorcia, Melisa Jaen, and Karen Nemeth. So, to get us kicked off, here are our session objectives. So, really, by the end of our session, we really want to make sure that you can discuss some virtual engagement practices, plan activities with families virtually, as well as examine some of those resources to really support your ongoing work with families. All right, so we want to take a minute right before we dive into our actual content to just acknowledge that all of us are experiencing challenging situations right now, and this is a unique time for us to balance our personal challenges with our continued support for families as they experience their own challenges. Leslie, do you have anything to add about that right now?
Leslie Maxfield: Yes, Randi. I was going to add that it's important to remember that when families face challenging situations, it impacts their abilities to be engaged in visiting, so connecting with home visit or engaging in home visits and socializations might become less of a priority for a family as they handle challenges. So, your continued connection to families, whether it be through virtual engagement or drive past their home and when you wave and have everyone come out on their front porch to say, "Hi," lets them know that you're still there for them and that your relationship with them is really important.
Randi: That is really true, and in order to get us really kicked off right now, we're going to start with a short video, and this is a video I really love sharing with people. It's from Susan Kaiser Greenland. She's the author of "The Mindful Child" and a founder of the Inner Kids program, and she uses this glitterball to really describe how mindfulness helps adults see their inner and outer life experiences a little bit more clearly, and so you can share this video with families via the webinar recording and discuss being mindful as they go through their challenges and experience them.
Susan Kaiser Greenland: Hi, I'm Susan Kaiser Greenland, [Video begins] and I'm here to talk to you today about the clear perspective that everybody is born with. We're all born with this clear, calm perspective, like the water in this glitterball, and look. If I put the ball in front of me, I can still see you. Can you see me? That's the clear perspective we're born with that's not clouded by the events of everyday life, but with the stress and strain that we have of life.
Everybody I'm working with, they're under a lot of stress. The kids have a lot of homework, a lot of after-school activities. These things tend to cloud our perspective. See? Can you see through clearly anymore? Can see through a little bit, but there's still things in there that cloud our minds, so we take time. We feel our breathing. We rest, and look what happens. All those things that were clouding our perspective, they settle to the bottom. They don't go away. They're still down there, but they're not clouding our perspective anymore. So, if this is what happens with the stress and strain of everyday life, what happens with negative emotions like the green glitter in this ball? Let's say that that's anger or jealousy or envy or frustration, negative things. They really cloud our perspective, so much so you can't see through at all anymore, right? But the same thing is true. We just take the time, feel our breathing, rest a little bit. Those bad things settle to the bottom. Now, have those negative things gone away? No, they're still at the bottom of the ball. I wish mindful awareness could get rid of all of the bad things in life, but it can't. But what it can do is, it can help us clear our perspective so that we can see our inner and our outer experience clearly with kindness and with compassion for ourselves and for other people.
Randi: And I really like that video because it gives such a great visualization to help us think about the challenges we experience and the perspectives that we have and how we can really help families to see that perspective. So, we've heard from many home-visiting programs about the methods that they're using to continue their connection to families during this time, and virtual engagement with families really has allowed home visitors to promote health and safe practices, as well as support them in facilitating their children's ongoing development and learning in the home.
So, to get us started, what do we actually mean by virtual engagement? So, in our context today, we're referring to virtual engagement as the methods that home-visiting programs are using to continue to connect with families when in-person visits and socializations are just not available. So, take a second to reflect just on how you've been connected with families recently. Your method of virtual engagement may have been decided based on multiple factors, including just what a family has access to or just a decision that was made by your program, but we're going to do a short poll to kind of estimate your comfort level with engaging with families in a virtual setting. So, we're going to also repeat this poll at the end of the webinar, and we're going to highlight kind of any shifts that you may find after you've heard some of this information. So, really, you're going to focus on, "How comfortable are you with, virtually engaging with families?" And I want you to just select one option, and depending on your screen, you may have to scroll down a little bit to get to that submit button. But are you very comfortable with virtual engagement, moderately comfortable, a little comfortable or not comfortable at all? Now, it's OK to not be comfortable at all. That is OK. Virtual engagement is not necessarily for everybody, and this is a new situation around technology, so we're exploring kind of a different level sometimes where we're going with it. So, I'm going to give us just a little bit of time, as I see the numbers are shifting, and really talk about when I was a home visitor, and I couldn't meet with families. I would usually have a mix of things. I would give phone calls and e-mails, as well as video chat because that was just what was comfortable with the families that I engaged with.
All right, so we've got about half of our poll submitted, so I'm going to push out our results here, and you'll see about 21% are really comfortable. We've got about 46% that are moderately comfortable, 26.7 that are just a little bit comfortable, and then we've got our 5% that are not comfortable, and that is OK. That's where we're finding a lot of people are. It's just a general mix of where we're at, and it really depends on your level of comfort with technology, as well as what's available. So, we're going to go forward and take a look at the different types of engagement. So, between the members of MyPeers, our home-visiting community, they've been sharing a lot in their ongoing discussion, and from what they've been sharing, as well as some trends that we've been seeing from other home-visiting models, there are three main, most common topics or types of virtual engagement that we're finding. The first thing, phone calls, this is just verbal communication via landline or cell phone that has no video involvement whatsoever. Then we've got electronic communication. This is back-and-forth communication through electronic means, so that's texting, e-mail, video chat or some other secure messaging application of your choosing. And then we've got interactive video conferencing. It's also called IVC, and this is a live back-and-forth interaction between family and home visitor using video- conference technology. So, what do we actually need for all of these things? So, home visitors and families need access to specific things no matter which of these they choose, the first being for phone calls. So, a home visitor and a family need access to a phone, whether that's a landline or a cell phone. For electronic communication, home visitors and families need to have access to an internet-enabled device, whether that's a smartphone, tablet, or a computer, that has access to the selected messaging application, and it can send messages back and forth. So, for IVC, both the home visitor and the family need access to an Internet-enabled computer, smartphone, or tablet with access to the video-conferencing softwares, such as Zoom, Adobe Connect or GoToMeeting. It's also suggested that there is access to headphones for better sound quality, as well as discussing some sensitive information. There's also some considerations that programs need to take into account when choosing a type of virtual engagement, and so these include access to needed items, awareness of community resources and support, technology – including security and support for technology – and the ease of use and the interaction level. So, for the first one, it's really important to take into consideration what technology the family already has access to, and it's not a method that will require them to buy any additional items or incur an additional ongoing cost. So, programs must really choose ... They may choose to provide items such as a tablet and a stand, a webcam, or providing access to a video-conferencing software. Programs can also brainstorm with home visitors and families as to how to increase access to these needed items. So, Leslie, can you share some considerations related to community resources and support?
Leslie: Sure, Randi. I was thinking that programs can talk to community partners and organizations to find out what they're offering within the community and how long they plan to offer it. For instance, in our community, I live in a very rural community, and what the school district did was to set up hot spots at all of the elementary schools, which are also available to Head Start families. Planning and working together may enable you to streamline how to support virtual engagement with families for the time being, as well as continued support in the future. And here, we also have a technical college and university where there are a lot of students who might be available, so you want to think about that too, like, "Do you have a college? Do you have access to people who would be willing to volunteer to help families learn or to help you set up a program?" So, another example is working with community partners to support family access to no-cost Internet services to promote the use of electronic communication and virtual visits, and we know that that's a priority of the Office of Head Start right now, is to make sure that families have the connections that they need. Thanks, Randi.
Randi: And that leads us right into the technology, the security, and the supports part. So, we know that programs need to ensure that all hardware, messaging applications and video- conferencing software meet the Personally Identifiable Information, so that PII and security requirements. So, they also need support, so home visitors and families are going to need support during this time, whether it's around practicing safe virtual engagement techniques, setting privacy settings, and then also how to tell if a website is safe, and then also support around just technology. If they run into a problem, who are they supposed to call? And so, you may want to find either a dedicated team or a person within a program, and that's also true with what Leslie said about maybe a technical college, where they could have a dedicated person that could provide some support. And we've also included a handout that you can download called "Troubleshooting Tips for IVC Virtual Service Delivery," and this is an example tip sheet that you might also provide to families about just some common problem like, "What if my sound is not working?" or, "What if the video is not working?" or, "My mouse isn't working," so just common problems that you can run into that you'd be able to walk families through. So, Leslie, what do you think programs should consider when they think about ease of use for families?
Leslie: That's a great question, Randi, and I'm thinking about my daughter. I have a young ... She's in her 20s, and she's a new Head Start staff person and teacher, and so this was a big shift for her to have to do things virtually with families. So, I think the approach to find out what families are comfortable with, do they want to do FaceTime? Do they want to do things through Facebook? Do they want to ... Which platform is the most comfortable for them, texting whatever? So, I think, really, finding out what is comfortable for the family is really important, and also, what are the best times of day for you to have virtual contact?
Randi: And that's very true. That consideration, just that amount of information, like, "What are families already comfortable with?" is going to make a huge difference. Families and staff are absolutely more inclined to use a technology when they know what it's going to look like, whether it's on their phone or their computer. So, we're going to give you some examples of virtual engagement that we've heard from other home-visiting programs, and while we're sharing, feel free to add some strategies into the Q&A box. So, for phone calls, we've heard that some home visitors are scheduling regular weekly phone calls to check in on how a family is feeling, child development progress and to share resources verbally and then also by mail or drop-off, at the post office. So, other home visitors are also establishing kind of open hours for families on a specific day so that the family can kind of call them when it's easiest. So, Tuesday, maybe the calmest day of their week, and so one week, they call at 9 a.m., and the next week, they call at noon whichever one works for them. But if they don't call, then the home visitor would circle back and call them to check in. For electronic communication, some home visitors and families are engaging in resource discussions through secure, collaborative messaging applications such as Google Hangouts or private networking groups or even Microsoft Teams, and some home visitors will send out information, and families will respond with their thoughts on the information, as well as how they might use it in their home, whereas other home visitors are engaging in ongoing e-mail threads with families in which they continue to have that back- and-forth communication via e-mail to share information and discuss family progress and share videos or and chats as they go through the same way they would kind of engage with other friends and family. So, Leslie, what are some of the strategies that people are sharing in our Q&A box?
Leslie: I had to unmute myself, and I am taking a look. I think a lot of people, it sounds like they are using parent surveys, finding out what families want. There was a question about Spanish- speaking families. Are there any ideas for phone or video translation? Because it's very difficult to communicate if it's not face-to-face. Some folks are saying that parents may not want to have FaceTime. Also, there was one that I had never heard of, which was live Instagram, so those are some of the things. There are so many that are coming across, and here is one about open hours, so that's a great idea too, as you were saying.
Randi: Yeah, and I know that one person I know within our MyPeers home-visiting community was commenting on having visits with families that they didn't speak the language. They were using ... They just happened to be using things like Google Translate, and they were trying to ... Also, this was a time for them to work in partnership with their other home visitors who did speak the language. So, they were doing phone calls and videos together, and I thought that was a great collaborative strategy that they were using.
Leslie: That's great, and there's a question here from ... There's one question here from Carrie, and her question is, "With this pandemic, should parents maybe be aware that virtual learning may be a large part of the future?" Which I know it's something people are thinking about as we transition back to programming.
Randi: That's very true, and I think we're going to talk a little bit more about that as we go forward and even part of our Ed Manager Institute that's coming up really soon. We're talking a lot about transitioning, as well as the fact that readiness to transition back to in-person visits is really going to depend on the family, so that individual transition planning is going to be really important, and actually, that's leads to a great question. So, since we're talking about virtual visits, we're going to push forward to an actual short video of a virtual visit, and this is an example of an Early Intervention Home Services being delivered by an Early Intervention home visitor and a family with an infant named Xander. So, take a look and see how it goes with them.
Home Visitor: And are you still seeing him doing some nice, purposeful reaching? I know you'd said last time he was reaching for Dad's face.
Mom: Actually, he's doing more, or we're seeing ... What was it? Oh, he actually ... So, this little thing ... He actually grabbed this the other day. He was on ... I don't remember if he was on his side. We're seeing a lot more side-rolling, like, getting to his side on his own.
Home Visitor: Fully to the side?
Mom: Yeah. So, he ended up grabbing this, and he had pulled it up to his mouth and everything.
Home Visitor: Nice.
Mom: Yeah, we've got one of these things, too. Home Visitor: Uh-huh?
Mom: I've been having him go on his side, and then he likes this side in particular and then the one that has the buttons too.
Home Visitor: And he can activate the buttons?
Mom: Yeah, so we've been trying to work on him learning how to push against them, so ... Home Visitor: And is he rolling to both sides pretty equally, or is it one side?
Mom: I'm seeing both sides. It's almost like he'll do one and come back to center and then go to another.
Home Visitor: OK. Hello! Mom: Hi! Hi! [Gasps]
Home Visitor: So, if you want to tuck his shoulders just a little bit more underneath ... or his elbows, sorry, right underneath. Yeah, perfect.
Mom: Bring you back. Oh, good.
Home Visitor: Very nice. And look at that little hand opening up a little bit, huh? Mom: Yeah.
Home Visitor: Now, let's see if you can ... Uh-oh. [Gasps] Where did your binky go? Hello. There's a smile. [Laughs]
Home Visitor: So, if you kind of back your support off just a little bit, let's see if ... Do you think he'll try to reach a little bit for anything in front of him yet, or is that still really tough?
Mom: We like Yoey. Let's see. You want to ... Oh, and there he goes. He's ... You going to your side? You going to ...
Home Visitor: I think there's a little bit of spit-up too, so maybe if you want to ... Dad: No, that was just bubbles.
Home Visitor: Bubbles? OK, OK. Hard to tell on video. [Video ends]
Randi: And I think this is an awesome example of just how comfortable the parent and the home visitor are, and they just have all these open-ended questions. The parent has time to share the information about the child's progress. I think it's a great example of what we can accomplish with video and virtual interaction when it is available to us. I think it's great, and so we're going to push forward to talk about the other part with home visiting. We have these individual home visits, but then what about those group socialization that we're now ... How are we going to engage with them virtually? So, we also want to think about the fact that parents are all families are going to be able to join as they're able to, and so we want to make sure that we're offering that flexibility and scheduling. So, you might have to be able to offer either multiple times a day or over the course of a couple of days the opportunity for groups to come together because then they're able to kind of join when it's easiest for them, especially children, with infants and toddlers, where their schedule is not always the same. And so, we also want to build up not only the home visitor's confidence but the family's confidence in engaging in group virtual opportunities, so you might have to start off with smaller groups coming together. This could be all the families with children under 1, or all the families that have children that are transitioning from Early Head Start to Head Start. So, you can promote the commonalities that families have to discuss, as well as getting them used to interacting together because some families may be isolated during this time as well, but we also want to know that there's no big push to have big, large group socializations, either. If small groups works for you, continue to have small- group socializations because we want it to be comfortable for the family, as well as when you do move to the larger groups, you also want to make sure that you have time to be able to promote those small-group discussions even within a larger setting. And it's always good to invite guest speakers, so this could be pediatric dentists to talk about oral health. It could be a public health official to talk about common childhood illness, or the program's nutrition specialist to discuss fun and interactive nutrition education for the home. It's also great for home visitor supervisors to come on and share their knowledge too. Home visitors and families have always really enjoyed getting their supervisors involved and having them be a part of it.
So, let's go forward and think about some examples. So, again, while we're sharing these examples, feel free to add some stuff into the Q&A box. We want to hear your strategies, as well. And so, for phone calls, we've been hearing a lot about scheduling group conference calls, so asking families to join a call, talk about a specific topic, usually encouraging families to share topics of interest ahead of time and then providing that focus topic in the call reminders, so whether you are calling a family to say, "Hey, remember about that group socialization? We're going to talk about nutrition," so making sure the parents are really excited to have that conversation as well. For electronic communication, so using that secure messaging application to allow for families to talk to each other, so home visitors can start that conversation off by offering an open-ended question and allowing families to really drive that conversation however they choose. And home visitors have shared that they're really going into sharing a lot of resources, but then also not just leaving that resource with the families but also talking about, "Well, how do you think you're going to use this information moving forward? How is it going to be relevant for you?" and really trying to engage them in also sharing pictures and videos ... [Inaudible] comfortable with each other to promote that group support. And then we've got the group IVC visits, so this is setting up an opportunity for families and children to really view each other in realtime. So, based on family needs and children's ages, you might, again, separate families to see about talking to each other, maybe having those smaller groups of just those children under 1, or maybe it's infant massage with families, or it's stacking and counting with toddlers, story time with 3-year-olds and really making it so that it's flexible with the family needs. So, Leslie, what are we seeing in the Q&A box now for people sharing about their group socialization experiences?
Leslie: What we're seeing is that some have tried using Zoom. So, they've tried using Zoom with some of the parents, but families might not always log on. There's a request for suggestions for parents who haven't responded to virtual communication because many of them are already back to work, and a question on, "What is the appropriate time to do video chat with children?" and when using Zoom, thinking about the safety, because there have been some concerns about the safety of using Zoom.
Randi: That's very true. Well, I have answers to some of those questions, definitely not all, but some. When it comes to safety and security, that's definitely something that you want to look at. You want to make sure that you're setting all the privacy settings that you absolutely can, really investigating each video-conferencing software that you might consider to make sure that it has all the necessary security that's required by the Head Start Performance Standards, as well as your individual programs. As it comes to some parents going back to work, yeah, that flexibility is absolutely needed and being able to do virtual visits, phone calls and meeting the family's needs as they come. That's something that really is independent program to program, but we highly suggest trying to work with the family as much as possible within your program's requirements, but also speak to your supervisor, absolutely, to help reflect on some solutions that you can come up together.
All right, so I'll actually turn it over to Leslie so she can talk with us about some planning activities virtually with families. You know what? I think that we ran into a little bit of a technical issue with Leslie, and that's OK. I'm going to push us forward, and then hopefully we can kind of catch up in a little bit.
So, really we're going to discuss how we connect with families moving forward. So, really, we want to take a look at really the purpose behind our home visiting, which is really to promote parent-child relationships, and then you also may need to take a look at also how parents are facilitating those learning experiences, so we want to keep that in mind as we're going forward. So, the first part is focusing absolutely on these strength-based attitudes that we have, and so if you've looked at any of our PFCE materials, we know that we really want to focus on strength- based attitudes and relationship-based practices, and so, really, we want to make sure parents are connected and that we're promoting that families are the first and most important teachers, right, that they have a critical role in supporting children's development. They have the expertise about their child, and they have something of value to contribute. So, this makes it so that, especially during virtual engagement, that we're leaning on the parents because we want to be able to be a support for them, but we want to make sure that they know that they are the first and most important teacher, that we're using this time to enhance their knowledge about child development, but that we're also rolling with things that they enjoy doing together, and that we're really focusing on the aspects that are strong within their household.
All right, so relationship-based practices, I was going to say relationship-based competencies, but that's a whole other set of things, so relationship-based practices, we really look at these six that are here. So, we have describe those observations of the child's behavior to open up conversation. That's really great when we're talking, especially, around child assessment but also when we're seeing something that we either have a question about or the parent has a question about. We want to be able to come in and talk to them about, "OK, so this is what we're seeing. Is this what you're seeing? Let's talk about maybe some learning that's happening or how we can find a solution together." We also want to reflect on the parents, the family's perspective, and support parent confidence. So, we really are making sure that we're taking a look at the family's culture and home language, what they are passionate about and how also pairing it with those competencies and making sure that we're building up their confidence and competence, that they go in with the best intentions. We know parents want the absolute best for their children, and so when we are able to take a step back and reflect on our own perspective, we are really able to help parents and support them in a way that's going to make sure that their parent-child relationship is supported across the board. All right, so we're going to also focus on what is in the home at the time.
So, we are going to take a look at routines. It's important to know those housekeeping and caregiving routines that are happening in the home that really provide an opportunity for parents to just learn that activity as well as enhance their skills as their child's teacher. So, the child and the parent are already connected. We know that they're engaged in these routine activities, so really home visitors can support families to facilitate learning around things that are already happening. And we also want to use these everyday materials and objects. We don't want parents to have to go out and buy expensive toys and materials that are happening, but we really want them to take a look at materials that are there. Using materials that are recyclable being able to learn stacking and counting and colors, all of those things are able to be learned through materials that they already have, and there's no cost associated with them other than what they are already spending to get those materials. We also want to take a look at language. So, parent communication is so, so very important, but it's also something that's readily available. They're communicating all the time, and we really just want to encourage them to help children learn. So, using things like descriptive and engaging language tells children what is happening around them and helps them to connect actions to language. So, encourage parents to use their home language with language strategies such as parallel talking and self-talking, really builds and expands children's language, and we also want to take this time to remember culture is in the context in which parents are raising their children, and children are developing. So, to talk to parents about the inclusion of things like cultural routines and materials and objects and language really allows them to pull together activities. It makes us kind of go in the line of planning developmentally appropriate activities with families. So, once we focus on those strength-based attitudes, relationship-based practices, what's going on in the home, we really need to work with families to build activities that they can do because we are not there. We are just a temporary person, and right now, we're having a kind of separated relationship. We're not in the home anymore. For those of you not able to go back into the home, we're virtual, and now we need to be able to take a look at engaging families and giving them some guidance to be able to really do this on their own.
So, the first thing to take into consideration is the developmental progress of the child. So, talking to the family about what is the child doing? Taking a look at things like the ELOF@HOME app is a great resource to be able to share with families so that you can look at it at home, and they can look at it at their home, and you can talk about the same thing. You have a consistent resource to use, and you're able to then see the progression across the development, and so then you're able to really tie it into things like curriculum, ongoing assessment, and child goals to really then help parents to talk about the activities that they want to be able to put in place to have their child go from where they are to the next step of where they want them to be.
Also, it's important to know the family and child interests. Now we may have known these things a couple months ago or weeks ago, but now in this uncertain time, family and child interests may have shifted, and it's important to acknowledge that and to be able to ask them now, "You know, what are you doing together? What positive experiences are you having?
What pleasant experiences are you having together?" and being able to expand on those, right? We also want to take a look at flexibility, so we know that every home environment and schedule is different and can be changing. So, we want to ask families how much time they have to sit down and do activities together the length of the child's attention span when they're doing different activities. So, a family may have a few hours each day to do activities, but if the child only focuses for three minutes at a time, we really want to make sure that families are creating activities that are short, open-ended, that can be done at different points of every day and have the same skill that can be embedded into different routines that parents and families do together.
All right, so we're going to touch base on just planning some socialization activities with families because we're moving from the individual to the group, and so really, we want to take a look at involving multiple families in planning, and this really helps to make sure that cultural perspectives are included, that multiple languages are included and that we've included varying age groups and abilities across all planned activities. So, sometimes we need multiple families to help us with gaining that perspective. We also want to take a look at the opportunities for families to share with the whole group so activities that allow them to share their expertise, their hobby, their culture and even their reflection on this time and activities that allow families to lead and highlight their knowledge, really encourages other families to be part of the planning and to feel comfortable sharing their own ideas. And then as part of group socialization, you do want to talk to all the families to see what are some of those common items and materials that everybody has? Like, OK, so across most households, we're going to have toilet paper rolls.
OK, so let's make sure we do something with those, or everybody has got some plastic containers. Let's do that. Everybody has got some paper towels. Everybody has got some tissues, things like that that don't require certain parents to acquire different objects, or you want to be able to explain how learning happens across multiple objects so that families can use whatever in good for them. All right, so now we're going to engage in our virtual activity, so this is where if you haven't downloaded that developing virtual strategies handout, you want to make sure you do that. Grab a pen and paper. We're going to watch a short video on a home visitor providing some guidance to a family about facilitating a learning activity in the home.
Pay close attention to how the home visitor is providing some direction, and then when we come back, I'll explain the activity, and then you'll have some time to write one down. Make sure you keep an eye on what the home visitor is doing.
Home Visitor: They can count the holes. They can count and then put it. They can count one, two, one, like, one and one, two. One, two, three. One, two, three, four. So, that way, they're counting one to one correspondence, and they're learning the shapes at the same time.
Home Visitor: You wanna play with them? Man: Hold on, I have to show you, OK?
Home Visitor: Then we're going to take turns. Man: This is circle.
Child 1: Circle.
Child 1: Triangle.
Child 1: Rectangle.
Man: Square. Child 1: Square. Man: One.
Man: Two. Three.
Child 2: Three.
Home Visitor: They can even point to say how many. Man: OK, this is red.
Children: Red. Man: Yellow. Children: Yellow. Man: Yellow circle.
Child 2: Yellow circle. Man: OK, blue circle. Children: Blue circle. Man: Green circle.
Child 1: Green circle. Man: OK.
Phoebe: I just noticed that I was mute, so now that you've seen that little video, I want you to think of a family that you are connecting with now. You're going to use them as your focus.
Think of a strategy that you could use through virtual engagement to support that family doing a similar activity from the video with their child. So, write a strategy down on your developing virtual strategies worksheet. We're going to give you a minute. You're going to see this arrow come across your screen. That is your one-minute timer. I'm going to give you about 30 seconds just kind of on your own to write some stuff down, and then I'll start giving you just a few examples that we've heard from others that you might consider. All right. So, you may consider, say, over the phone, you might discuss with a family what materials they have in the home that are different colors or shapes, and then describe how the parent and child could use these activities to identify colors and shapes as they count. Through electronic communication, you may provide activity guidance and information on what a child may be learning as they put, as a picture or video example, and through virtual visits you may demonstrate the activity in real- time using household items that you and the parent have previously discussed and then observe the parent and child engage in the activity.
So, those are just a couple of examples of ways that you may have done that, and so we are also going to post this question onto the MyPeers home visiting community in the next couple of days to gain some additional strategies that other people may have used. So, this is going to be an interesting experiment to go and post that video there and see what other people have to say, and finally, you always want to follow up and reflect with the family. Allow them the opportunity to say, like, what was really positive about their experience. What may they have adjusted if they had more time, or maybe they needed to do it in a different room in their house, things like that. It's a great way to connect individual visits and also activities that you do at group socialization.
All right. So, I know we're coming to a close, and so we're going to really focus on some supportive resources, so these are just a couple that you can use as home visitors to really support families and their relationships with their children and as they facilitate learning experiences. So, as we review these resources, feel free to add your thoughts into the Q&A box.
All right, so our first one is the Rapid Response Virtual Home Visiting, and if you have not gone on and seen these, these are wonderful. It's a collaborative that's come together to really promote these virtual home visiting at this time, and they really provide best practices and principles and strategies to support all home visiting professionals. They really want to continue having that meaningful connection with families during this time, so they have webinars every Wednesday on different focus topics, and you can go on and participate either in the Wednesday webinars, except for of course the second Wednesday every other month, because that's our time, right? But you can always go on and take a look at the recorded webinars. In the past, they've done some awesome ones preparing for virtual visits, screening, and virtual visits as well as reflective supervision and other topics, and they've been really great to listen to. The effective practice guides, if you haven't checked these out yet, we have talked about them in the past, but if you haven't, it's OK. It's still really great resource to go on for domain- specific home visiting and teaching practices that support children's development. It's a great resource to share with families because it provides a know, see, do improved structure, so it gives information. It gives videos. It gives practices, actually what to do, and it also gives you a section to improve, and so this really is very helpful when you're joint planning because if a family is questioning like, what does relationships with familiar adults look like? There's usually a video there that you can say, "Here, this is the video. This is kind of what it looks like." Describe your observation or give the parent an opportunity to say, like, "Oh, my child did that already, and it looked like this," and so you're able to really compare and then have those be a learning resource.
There's also the 15-minute In-service Suites, and these are things that you may be familiar with. We did share them during our April webinar about behavior as meaning, but these are also places where you can get some great videos. You can get some great tip sheets for families, also some ideas around socialization items, as well as planning activities moving forward. So, I do see that Leslie is back. And so, I do want to make sure that she gets a chance to talk about some of these great resources from PFCE about using social media with families.
Leslie: Yes, thanks, Phoebe. So, social media has become a common way for home visitors and programs to engage with families, and using social media to engage families is a guide that can help or enhance the social media plan and stay connected with families. And it includes information around plans, connecting with your audience, considerations for using social media, creating strength-based and culturally and linguistically responsive posts and responses, and I've seen a lot of questions about what happens when families aren't connecting or aren't responding, and this guide really has some specific information about that to help you.
Supporting families in uncertain times, these are some beautiful social media messages. It's a set of 15 positive messages that can be shared with families to support positive relationships and let them know that you're thinking about them. So, you can use these messages on an as- needed basis for your connection with families.
The relationship-based competencies from PFCE are an excellent resource to support home visitors as you continue to engage with families. Home visitors and their supervisors are encouraged to review the RBCs with virtual engagement in mind, so you may be very familiar with the RBCs with your face-to-face work with families and supervision, but thinking about your confidence and how you rate yourselves may be different between in-person and virtual engagement, which means that you might need different supports from your supervisor and program.
The Home Visitor's Online Handbook is designed to provide information that will support home- based staff as you engage in your work with families. There are opportunities to view videos, reflect on current practices and explore additional resources. The updated home visitors supervisor's online handbook is expected to be posted on ECLKC soon. That will be great to have, and here's a link to the ELOF@HOME mobile app we mentioned earlier and a link to learn the signs, act early from the CDC website. This website contains milestone lists, materials, trainings, and tools to help connect and plan with families, and I know that they have a lot of additional resources there too about this time. So, as promised, we're going to re-engage in our poll from earlier. The questions and the options are the same, but we want you to answer based on how you feel now that we have shared all of this information with you.
Phoebe: Right, so we're going to push that poll out. And so, again, the options that we have are, I'm very comfortable with virtual engagement. I'm moderately comfortable. I'm a little comfortable, and I'm not comfortable. So, make sure, and again, it is still OK to be not comfortable during this time, but we do want to highlight those shifts in your thinking and your feeling at this time as we go through, and so we're still giving people a little bit of a change and a chance to put their polls up. We're at about 20%, so we'll see how we're going, but we're definitely seeing a bigger shift which is good. So, I'm going to push our polls out just for the sake of time. Our poll result is out, and you can see that we started with 21% as the high. We see that moved up to 30.9, 46 at moderate, and it's up to 53 and 26 being a little comfortable, and it's down to 13, and then also we were at 5% about not being comfortable, and we're down to just 1.9, so we can see just in this hour this big shift that's happened, and we really hoping that as we go through and you kind of look back at how we discussed these virtual engagement practices that planning developmentally appropriate activities with families virtually and taking a look at those resources that you start to feel more and more comfortable, but we do encourage you to stay connected and expand your knowledge through our home visiting community. They have been so active and sharing so many strategies around this virtual engagement. It's awesome. We've had one person who has posted several comments about their group socialization that they've been doing virtually. It's been a wonderful experience to listen and to watch all the strategies pass by.
The iPD has some great courses that you can still engage with, as well as signing up for text for home visitors to get some messages for you to be a part of, and so, really, we want to make sure that you're also staying ... we're preventing and responding appropriately to this COVID-19 and Head Start communities, so please check out that page on ECLKC for some great resources, especially around virtual home visiting and health and safety practices to share with families and a whole bunch of other resources that are available there.
We want to thank you so much for joining us today, and I want to thank my wonderful co- presenter, Leslie, all of the people who are answering all of the questions that are going on right now, but thank you so much. Please join us on August 12th. We'll be covering curriculum and ongoing assessment, and I hope that you have a great day.Close
Planning home visits and socialization with families strengthens the impact of learning opportunities. Jointly planned activities engage and challenge children in relevant ways when designed with families' unique interests and experiences in mind. In this webinar, discover how to plan and individualize virtual home visit and socialization activities with families. Learn about effective virtual engagement practices. Explore available resources to help your continued work with families.
Note: The evaluation, certificate, and engagement tools mentioned in the video were for the participants of the live webinar and are no longer available. For information about webinars that will be broadcast live soon, visit Upcoming Events.