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The Home-Based Visitation Process for Families and Professionals Mutual Goal-Setting

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PHASE I Preparation for the visit

Constraints of Preparing from Home Visit

  1. Number of Families
  2. Distance, travel time
  3. Willingness of family, approachability
  4. Prior contacts

Frequency of Home Visits

Planning for Home Visit

  1. Clipboard and thank you note
  2. Checklist for Listening and Observing
  3. Evaluation Items form other visits on checklist

Gathering Family Information from Home Visit

  1. Make several visits to gather information
  2. Family participates
  3. Preliminary information can be an interview or a family sketch

Frequency of Home Visits


Preparing for home Visit

  1. Keep toys and materials in a kit (bag)
  2. Organize materials by age
  3. Review “last visit” notes
  4. Phone to make arrangements for visit
  5. Predetermine length of visit


PHASE II During the Visit (1 hour to 1.5 hours)


Home Visit                        Family




Full                                    Deal
Family Involvement            with concerns

  • Make home visit as a parent-child educator (friendly relations, not intimate)
  • Communicate as consultant and consultee
  • Use praise, listening skills, pleasant voice, reinforce, restate, “verify”.

  • Share problems – talk about you, too!
  • Include all extended family members.
  • Observe behavior/development/areas of concern.


  1. Conduct Planned Activities
  2. Say thank you for “letting you come
  3. Use kit and materials to engage family and children
  4. Write, sketch, evaluate – “do” something in addition to communicating and listening

        b) Review What Occurred
        c) Leave something behind as a reminder or “cue”.
        d) Conclude – say thank you, state when you will return

PHASE III Evaluation, Review, Record-Keeping Phase

Family communication Feedback on home Visit

  1. What happened?
  2. What went well? Not well?
  3. What was observed in the child?
  4. What was observed in the adults?
  5. What was said?
  6. 6. What was verified?
  7. What was summarized?
  8. What materials/ toys were used? How?
  9. What does your clipboard “Say”?

Develop and Keep Records

  1. Family Field Notes
  2. Mileage/ Expense Forms
  3. Notes to families
  4. Calls to family.
  5. Computer record-keeping to assure the developmental history can be reevaluated frequently.

Repeat Planning Cycle


PHASE IV Review the Three Phases

  1. Preparation
    Plan the home visit, what art eh constraints? What is the purpose of the home visit? What is the family’s style? Put yourself in the shoes of he family and consider how they might feel with your visiting in their home. What do you ne3d to take with you? If you are bringing toys or props, what the ages of the children?
  2. During the visit
    Collaborative Consultative style.
    Set the stage with conversation.
    Mutually agree to focus on what the parent says.
    Conduct play-assessment learning activities.
    Create a conversational conclusion.
    Review what you saw, what you did, and what you heard with the parent.
  3. Evaluation/ Review Practice
    What happened during the visit?
    Make observational field notes eco-map away from the site.
    What props or toys were used, in what order?
    What was the reaction?
    What did the parent say?
  4. What were the parent’s actions?

Source: Susan H. Turben, Ph.D. (1991) In Beeler, N.G., Rycus, J.S. & Hughes, R.C. (Eds), The Effects of Abuse and Neglect on Child Development Core 103. The Ohio Child Welfare Training Program. The Institute of Human Services., Ohio Department of Human Services

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