Thursday, September 10, 2015

Spotlight on Washington Home Visiting

Yesterday and today, Washington state held its first Home Visiting Summit in Seattle. The event was collaboratively planned by the Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL), Thrive Washington, and the Washington Dental Services Foundation

In a recent blog post by Thrive Washington, it was reported that around 250 home visitors attended. 
"Three years in the making, the Summit answers the requests of home visitors for more professional development and opportunities to share strategies and stories with each other, so they can support families even better."
DEL Director, Ross Hunter
at the Home Visiting Summit

What is Home Visiting? 

Home visiting is a voluntary service in which trained professionals such as nurses, early childhood educators, social workers or trained paraprofessionals offer information and support related to healthy child and family development. These programs offer family-focused services to expectant parents and families with new babies and young children. Home visiting supports the child and family by buffering the effects of risk factors and stress in the family.

Evidence shows that when families receive home-based support, their children are born healthier and are less likely to suffer from abuse or neglect. It has also shown a strong return on the investment of funds in this area of prevention and early learning support.

Key Benefits of Home Visiting:

  • Stronger parent-child bonds
  • Healther mothers and babies
  • Lower rates of child abuse and neglect
  • More positive parenting practices
  • Earlier development of language and literacy skills
  • Improved school readiness
  • Safer homes
  • Increased rates of parental employment
In collaboration, DEL and Thrive Washington were able to create a one-page, printable document that gives data and information about home visiting as well as one woman's story about her experience with this program:
"Carrie stopped using heroin when she learned she was pregnant, but her baby was born early and addicted to methadone. Carrie joined parent support groups and received some support from a transitional housing program before enrolling in home visiting. After only a few months of home visiting, Carrie and her daughter are demonstrating positive changes in their relationship. The home visitor brings a book to every visit, and offers information about daughter Rachel’s developmental stages and milestones."
To read more about Carrie and to get more current statistics about home visiting in this state, go here: Home Visiting One Pager.

Learn More about Home Visiting Models in WA:

Thrive Washington has an easily-accessible web page dedicated to home visiting accessibility. Check it out here: Thrive Washington Home Visiting Accessibility

These are just some of the home visiting models offered in Washington state. The links below contain more information about the different approaches to home visiting.

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