Thursday, November 19, 2009
One of the most exciting aspects of HIPPY has been to witness the professional growth and development of our home visitors. Part of our model is to recruit home visitors from the alumni, current parents and from the general population of the communities that we serve. HIPPY parents often make the most effective and dedicated home visitors because of their first hand knowledge of how HIPPY affected their own lives. It's quite a leap to jump from being participating parent to becoming a home visitor who works with 15 other parents. Our policy is to bring on home visitors, provide them professional development, support and training and then counsel them into other positions in the field of their choice. Many of them want to become educators, social workers and other helping professionals. Our challenge has been to capture their professional growth so we can better tell that story. Last year we piloted a "Know and Grow" checklist to measure how our home visitors grew over the course of the year with us. The area in which our home visitors grew the most was ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS/FLEXIBILITY: "Meeting deadlines, maintaining schedules, and adapting to change". At the begining of the year 42% strongly agreed that they felt comfortable in this area; this grew to 69% by the end of the year. For many of our home visitors, HIPPY is their first "job" and this shows that they are learning some valuable skills and gaining confidence in an area that will help them in their future work.
pic: Dallas HIPPY Home Visitors during weekly training, 2008-2009 school year.