In talking with providers throughout the United States, we quickly learned
that a great number and variety of professionals visit family child care settings at
one time or another. Identifying all the groups of professionals who visit family
child care environments allowed us to create strategies that best serve all the
professionals involved in this type of home visiting.
Why We Wrote This Book
Home visitors face many challenges, dealing daily with a great variety of per-
sonalities, environments, and problems—each one as unique as the individual
provider. This manual is written to equip home visitors with the skills and tools
necessary to convey their messages in a manner that is acceptable and effective.
Our hope is that this will result in home visits that are safe, positive, supportive,
and motivationally interactive.
In conducting home visits for the purposes of social work, state licensing,
monitoring, or investigating complaints, we have found there is no magic for-
mula for successfully addressing individuals in their homes. We have conducted
home visits in the inner-city, rural areas, suburbs, public housing, and affluent
neighborhoods. In addition, we have provided child care orientations, assisted
families with child care issues, and presented trainings at conferences, work-
shops, and in homes. Through the years, we have experienced many different
and diverse situations and have dealt with an interesting variety of personalities.
One thing we have learned is that when you are dealing with children and fami-
lies, there is no end to the unique situations that can and do occur. This manual
presents a variety of skills that will prepare the home visitor to meet these chal-
In preparation for the writing of this manual, we took an in-depth look at
home visiting and identified areas in which we personally had experienced dif-
ficulty. In addition, we sent questionnaires to forty individuals who visit family
child care homes to identify common situations and a wide variety of problems.
From the responses to our questionnaire as well as our personal experience, we
identified a series of relevant skills that we feel will benefit every home visitor.
Those skills are what this manual is all about.
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