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Washington State Home Visiting Core Competencies

Washington State Home Visiting Core Competencies define attributes, knowledge, and skills that support the success and effectiveness of Washington’s Home Visitors and Supervisors.

We want to thank all the Home Visitors, Supervisors, and community-based program leaders who contributed their time and expertise in developing the Washington State Home Visiting Core Competencies. — The Washington State Home Visiting Core Competencies were developed by more than 350 Home Visitors, Supervisors, and community-based program leaders committed to supporting a strong foundation for Washington families through home visiting.

After two years in the making, two unique sets of competencies are ready to be used, tested, and refined by those who work with families daily. One set of competencies is for the role of Home Visitor, and one set is for the role of Home Visiting Supervisor. Each set of core competencies aims to complement, strengthen, and honor the recommendations and competencies developed by state and national entities to date. These include but are not limited to: the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families: Relationship-Based Competencies to Support Family Engagement; the Institute for the Advancement of Family Support Professionals: National Family Support Competency Framework; the National Home Visiting Network Call to Action for Racial Equity, and many others.

The creation of the Washington State Home Visiting Core Competencies allowed Washington’s home visiting workforce to build upon these foundational resources with their collective expertise and the context of Washington communities where they partner with families. The results are core competencies defined by, “owned by,” and written in the voice of Home Visitors and Supervisors in Washington state.

Origins

Washington wanted to develop its own home visiting core competencies in order to:

  • Define equity in home visiting in Washington and articulate how to demonstrate it.
  • Offer Washington’s families an assurance of high quality and consistent services provided by knowledgeable and skillful Home Visitors.
  • Define the attributes, areas of knowledge, and skills held in common across Washington’s diverse home visiting workforce.
  • Realize the benefits of core competencies in Washington, as identified by the Five Ways to Strengthen the Home Visiting Workforce Using Core Competencies:
    • Home Visitors can use core competencies for self-assessment.
    • Home Visiting Program Managers can use core competencies to develop job descriptions, trainings, and career ladders.
    • Training organizations can use core competencies to design educational opportunities.
    • Institutes of higher education can use core competencies to design program curricula and related courses.
    • States can use core competencies to encourage the delivery of high quality home visiting services across local agencies.

Process of Development

A goal was set for the core competencies that 85% of the content would apply to the work of every Home Visitor and Supervisor regardless of the early childhood home visiting service or program model implemented.

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Guidance for Use

The Washington State Home Visiting Core Competencies are intended as a guide to support the development of the home visiting field in ways that are equitable and built to support Washington’s diverse families. They should not be used to add responsibilities to job descriptions (that are already wide-ranging) or increase job requirements or qualifications that would further exacerbate the racial differences between the workforce and families receiving home visits. Therefore, all who read and use the Washington State Home Visiting Core Competencies are asked to honor the primary goals, hopes and concerns of the workforce who were involved in their development.

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Acknowledgments

Thank you!

We extend our deepest gratitude to all who supported the creation of the Washington State Core Competencies. Specifically, to the more than 350 active Home Visitors, Supervisors, and community-based program leaders who contributed their time and expertise in developing the Washington State Home Visitor and Supervisor Competencies.

Drafting Task Force Members

Advisory Committee

Start Early Washington Team

Funders

Special thanks to the primary funder of this work, Department of Children, Youth & Families. Additional funding support was provided by Perigee Fund.