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How to Turn Mistakes During a Home Visit into Opportunities for Deeper Relationships

NEAR@Home Lead Facilitator Quen Zorrah shares how to help home visitors have difficult conversations, particularly during times of trauma.

Quen Zorrah September 28, 2021
  • Family Engagement
  • Professional Development
  • Blog
  • Webinar Recording

Finding a way to talk about hard things can be challenging and stressful for even the most seasoned home visitor and family support professional. This has been especially true over the past year and a half as we’ve experienced the crises and challenges of the pandemic and more.

In talking to home visitors, supervisors and administrators about how they’re handling the current pressures of their environments, they’ve shared that what they really need right now is incremental support. In response to this need, we are pleased to announce the publication of the 4th edition of the NEAR@Home Toolkit. The NEAR@Home Toolkit is a free, self-study guide for how to safely, respectfully and effectively discuss ACES (adverse childhood experiences), trauma, and other hard things with parents by focusing on hope, respect and resilience. This newest edition features stories and quotes from home visitors to help contextualize the work described in the toolkit, and a framework for thinking about childhood trauma and adversity.

The NEAR@Home Toolkit

A resource for home visitors to respectfully and effectively address adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) with families.

Download Toolkit

We spoke about how the four elements that serve as the foundation of the NEAR@Home Toolkit — Neuroscience, Epigenetics, ACEs, and Resilience — come to life in our recent webinar at the Region 9 Early Head Start Conference, “Messing Up in Home Visits: an Opportunity for Repair and Deepening the Relationship.

As a former home visitor, I can attest that we all mess up. Ruptures in home visitors’ relationships with families are inevitable. By openly talking about our mistakes, we have an opportunity to learn and grow. In the webinar, we share strategies to repair the interactions between home visitors and families, leading to a more authentic and trusting home visitor-parent relationship. View the webinar recording directly below.

For home visitors who want to go deeper, the NEAR@Home Facilitated Learning process offers home visiting programs additional support for the toolkit, including experiential and reflective learning resources and modules, as well as support to implement the toolkit. The facilitated learning process occurs over 6-12 months in a safe, supported small group led by a specially trained NEAR Facilitator with expertise in home visiting and infant mental health. Reach out to us at NEAR@StartEarly.org to discuss how to bring NEAR@Home to your program.

About the Author

Quen Zorrah headshot

Quen Zorrah

Lead Facilitator, NEAR@Home

Quen Zorrah, PHN, MSN, IMH-E® Clinical Mentor, is the co-developer and lead facilitator for NEAR@Home at Start Early.

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