Instructor-Led Training Modules

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Module 1: Communicating and Working with Different Kinds of Parents

Length: 1 1/2-2 hours
ETO: Parenting Education

Overview: This training is based on Ruby Payne’s book, “Working with Parents: Building Relationships for Student Success.” Dr. Payne is a notable educator, speaker, author, and is known as an expert on poverty and the mindsets of economic classes. Based on Dr. Payne’s work, this training is designed to help home visitors understand and relate to parents from different socioeconomic backgrounds.  

Objectives
By the end of this training Home Visitors will be able to: 
        • Identify personal communication strengths and weaknesses 
        • Explore how different economic backgrounds and sub groups of parents have different communication styles and preferences 
        • Understand and communicate more effectively with different subsets of parents
        • Develop an action plan based on information learned in today’s training

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Module 2: What Poverty Does to a Child’s Brain

Length: 2 1/2-3 hours            
ETO: Child Development
Overview: Prolonged exposure to poverty can be harmful to a developing brain. However, studies show that the brain is able to adapt and change which means that poor children can experience success when they are provided the right kinds of experiences. Based in part on Eric Jensen’s book, “Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can do About It,” this training is designed to help home visitors understand what poverty is and how it affects children’s brains, while also providing information on how the right kind of experiences can change lives for the better.

Objectives
By the end of this training, Home Visitors will be able to:  
     
• Define poverty
     • Outline four risk factors and specific ways poverty hurts brain development 
     • Identify ways to combat what poverty does to a brain
     • Develop an action plan based on information learned 

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Module 3: Improving Family Health: The Importance of Breastfeeding

Length: 1 1/2-2 hours            
ETO: Health and Safety

Overview
: This fun and interactive session looks at the many advantages of breastfeeding for baby and mother. Home visitors will learn ways to encourage and support mothers in the decision to breastfeed and how to answer common questions.

Objectives
By the end of this training, Home Visitors will be able to:
    • Gain and/or help develop a comprehensive list of the benefits of breastfeeding. 
    • Explore methods to encourage and support mothers in the decision to breastfeed.

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Module 4: School Readiness Begins in Infancy: Building Foundations for Learning

Length: 1 1/2-2 hours            
ETO: Relationships Among Family, School and Community

Overview: This session explores how early experiences effect a child’s body and brain, explains the impact of developing skills, what can disrupt a child’s development, and how supporting a child pays off in school and life.

Objectives
By the end of this training, Home Visitors will be able to:
       • Examine how early experiences affect brain development.
       • Examine the impact of social interactions during the first two years of life on future learning.
       • Identify factors that can derail healthy development. 
       • Explore keys to healthy development and school readiness for infants and toddlers.

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Module 5: Improving Family Health : Adult Tobacco Use and Young Children’s Health

Length: 1 1/2-2 hours            
ETO: Parenting Education

Overview: Home visitors need knowledge and resources concerning tobacco cessation efforts so they will be able to encourage individuals that are struggling with tobacco addictions. This session will explore the negative effects of tobacco usage as well as the benefits of quitting. It will also delve into why it is such a hard habit to quit despite the benefits and risks associated with usage. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. Tobacco usage includes more than just smoking cigarettes and there is no safe level of tobacco use. Tobacco usage harms nearly every organ of the body. It causes many different cancers as well as chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema and bronchitis, and heart disease. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits for both individuals and families. This session will explore resources and techniques to assist home visitors with tobacco cessation efforts.

Objectives
By the end of this training, Home Visitors will be able to:
    • Home visitors will gain knowledge and resources on tobacco cessation so they can encourage individuals to quit using tobacco products.
   • This will include information on the health effects of secondhand and third hand smoke exposure and specific information on tobacco use during and after pregnancy.

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Module 6: Stress: Understanding and Managing Ours While Helping Families With Theirs

Length:2 1/2-3 hours            
ETO: Parental Well Being and Stability

Overview : Home visitors need knowledge and resources concerning stress, a natural and normal occurrence in daily lives. Home visitors encounter families with very stressful lives and their own workloads are often at maximum level. A home visitor’s job is demanding and they need to be reminded of the importance of learning to cope with stressful situations. While stress cannot be eliminated, home visitors can learn to use skills to deal with it more effectively.                                                                                          

Objectives
By the end of this training Home Visitors will be able to:         
      • Define stress and identify common stressors
      • Expand awareness of skills that will encourage a more relaxed life style and prevent stress related illness         
      • Identify ways home visitors can help families cope with stressors in life

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Module 7: Parents, Children and Stress

Length: 2 hours            
ETO: Parenting Well Being and Stability

Overview: Home visitors need to understand that early adversity has long been known to increase the risks of disease and life-threatening behaviors later in life. Toxic stress is when a young child experiences frequent or prolonged adverse experiences. The more adverse experiences a child has will raise the risk of later health problems. A child’s sustained exposure to toxic stress may also result in behavior patterns that are difficult to change later. This can lead to a vicious cycle of toxic stressed children growing up to be adults with chronic stress that raise children with toxic stress. Home visitors can help with this cycle by identifying the stress levels in families and by using strategies to build resilience in children and families.

Objectives
By the end of this training Home Visitors will be able to:
       • Define chronic stress and explore its relationship to adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress
       • Describe adverse childhood experiences and how they affect children’s development         
       • Identify toxic stress and effects of abuse and neglect in children
       • Discuss resilience and evidence-based and evidence-informed strategies to build resilience in children and families

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Module 8: Improving Family Health: Family Planning

Length: 1 1/2-2 hours            
ETO: Parenting Well Being and Stability

Overview: Home visitors need to learn about birth spacing, pregnancy planning, birth control options, and the 39 week initiative to be able to advise families and give them accurate information. Legislation establishing MIECHV requires quantifiable, measurable improvements in the benchmark areas. One benchmark is improved maternal and newborn health. This training is designed to provide information to aid home visitors as they help families prevent unintended pregnancies.

Objectives
By the end of this training Home Visitors will be able to:
     • Provide families with pregnancy planning and birth spacing information.         
     • List accurate birth control information and help families prevent unintended pregnancies.
     • Describe why it is best to wait until at least 39 weeks to have a baby.

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Module 9: Building Helping Relationships

Length: 2-3 hours            
ETO: Parenting Education

Overview: At the heart of home visiting is the relationship between the home visitor and the family. This relationship serves to provide a foundation for help that will be offered. Through this relationship the home visitor can provide the family with support, information, and encouragement. The importance of the helping relationship has been supported in research. This training is designed to provide information to aid home visitors in their capacity to help others. Since helping skills are something that must be applied and practiced, activities are included to allow opportunities to try out the concepts.

Objectives
By the end of this training Home Visitors will be able to:
      • Describe how to prepare for a first visit with parents/families.         
      • Correctly define empathy, respect, and genuinessess and describe their role in the helping relationship.
      • Identify strategies for active listening.
      • Explain techniques for building rapport with parents and families.

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Module 10: Understanding How Others Feel

Length: 1-1 1/2 hours            
ETO Classification: Diversity in Family Systems

Overview: This module is designed to accompany other modules as a method to extend training time and learning. It will especially accompany Modules 1 and 9 very well as they deal with the topics of communication and helping characteristics. At the heart of home visiting is the relationship between the home visitor and the family. This relationship serves to provide a foundation for help that will be offered. This training is designed to aid home visitors in their ability to understand the parents/families they serve. It includes a brief simulation exercise and further teaching on empathy and active listening.

Objectives  
By the end of this training Home Visitors will be able to:
    • Better imagine how another person might feel.
    • Define empathy.
    • Identify ways to achieve empathy and methods of being a more active listener.

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Module 11: Parental Depression

Length: 1-1 1/2 hours
ETO: Parental Well Being and Stability

Overview: Home visitors need to learn about parental depression and the ways it places children at risk each day. Parental depression can be especially damaging for the growth and healthy development of very young children, who depend heavily on their parents for nurture and care. Addressing parental depression and its negative effects early in a child’s life could improve a child’s development. Once home visitors have built a trusting relationship with a parent, they can reach out to encourage parents to get help with depression. This training is designed to help home visitors feel more comfortable identifying the signs and symptoms of depression and to help them know when and how to refer parents for help.

Objectives
By the end of this training Home Visitors will be able to:
      • Define depression and recognize there are different categories and degrees of depression. 
      • Identify and list the signs and symptoms of depression.
      • Demonstrate knowledge of when and how to refer parents for help. 
      • Summarize general recommendations that home visitors can offer parents during visits.

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Module 12: Early Literacy

Length: 3 hours
ETO: Child Growth and Development

Overview: Home visitors are well positioned to promote literacy in the homes of the families. Some of the ways they can support and nurture family literacy skills are by modeling and encouraging literacy promoting behaviors and activities and by helping families create literacy rich homes. This training is designed to provide information and strategies that home visitors can use to help families develop a literacy rich home environment for their children.

Objectives
By the end of this training Home Visitors will be able to:
   • Define literacy and understand the five key opportunities that children birth-five need in order to become successful readers and writers.
   • Discuss developmental milestones of early literacy development and how to select age appropriate book.
   • Demonstrate knowledge of when and why parents should read to young children.
   • Identify ways to connect, nurture, and support family literacy skills.

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Module 13: The Importance of Fathers            

Length: 2 1/2 – 3 hours
ETO: Dynamics in Family Relationships

Overview: Often when we think of parents involved in home visitation programs we instantly picture mothers. This is because we picture mothers as being central to the child’s development. But fathers also have a direct impact on the economic, social, behavioral, cognitive and academic well-being of children. Recent research provides strong evidence for inclusion of fathers in the home visiting process and the need for home visitors to reach out to fathers. Including fathers in home visiting programs is not only good for the children; it is an opportunity to positively impact the health and well-being of the fathers. This training is designed to help home visitors to feel knowledgeable, prepared, and empowered to actively include fathers in the home visiting process.             
 
Objectives
By the end of this training Home Visitors will be able to:
      • Express how father involvement impacts child wellbeing and outcomes.
      • Identify the barriers of engaging fathers.         
      • Assess if their practices are father friendly.
      • Discover best practices for encouraging father-child relationships and engaging fathers in home visits.

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Module 14: Strategies to Keep Home Visitors Safe

Length: 1.0 - 2.5  hours            
ETO Classification: Health and Safety

Overview: The safety of a home visitor is as important as the work they do. Home visits are conducted in client homes and typically done solo. Home visitors should take action to educate, prepare, and protect themselves from potentially dangerous situations, as well as, know how to diffuse, and get away from unsafe circumstances if confronted.

Objectives            
By the end of this training Home Visitors will be able to:
    • Plan, prepare, and carryout safe practices at a home visit.
    • Identify what predators look for in a target.
    • Employ the necessary procedures to reduce tension, identify imminent danger, and protect themselves if a predator becomes aggressive.         
    • Understand the need for boundaries, and set healthy, professional boundaries between themselves and the families they serve.
 
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Module 24: Improving Parent-Child Relationships through Guidance & Discipline

Length: 3 - 3.25 hours
ETO: Guidance and Nurturing

Overview: Early parent-child relationships have powerful effects on children’s cognition, language, moral development, emotional well-being, basic coping, problem-solving abilities, behavior, and future capacity for relationships. Just like any relationship, building a positive relationship between parent and child is one that requires work and effort to make it strong and successful. This training will equip home visitors with the knowledge to encourage parents to grow their relationship with their children through a variety of tools including appropriate guidance strategies and discipline techniques.

Objectives:
By the end of this training, Home Visitors will be able to:          

  • Understand the three parenting types and identify the pros and cons of each 
  • Explain ten ways parents can foster a positive relationship with their child(ren) 
  • Convey to parents the difference between discipline and punishment
  • Discuss anticipated difficulties throughout each developmental stage and provide parents appropriate discipline strategies

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Module 25: Active Healthy Lifestyle: Early Childhood Obesity Prevention               

Length:2 – 2.5 hours
ETO: Health and Safety

Overview: Families are one of the most important and lasting influences on the choices that children make. So when it comes to preventing excess weight gain and obesity, parents have the potential to steer their children in directions that lays the foundation for lifelong good health. Children today live in a world that more readily promotes unhealthy eating rather than healthy eating, and fosters sedentary activities more than physical activities, but home visitors can provide parents with the necessary tools and education they need to empower their children and model healthy choices..

Objectives:

By the end of this training, Home Visitors will be able to

  • Understand the problem of Obesity and how it affects children in Arkansas
  • Discuss the causes and effects of obesity in children
  • Educate parents about preventing childhood obesity
  • Demonstrate to parents how to create a balanced meal
  • Connect families with community resources such as education, support services, and food programs
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Module 26: Early Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Recognizing, Referring, & Supporting Families in Home Visiting

Length: 2 - 2.5 hours
ETO: Child Development

Overview: As individuals going into the homes of families and helping with child and family development you will have relationships with families that are special and able to see first-hand how a child is developing. Home visitors play an important role in recognizing early signs of autism spectrum disorder and guiding the family towards getting help if concerned about the child not meeting developmental milestones.

Objectives:        

 

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Module 27:  Food Insecurity among Children & Families in Arkansas


Length: 1.5 - 1.75 hours
ETO: Health and Safety 

Overview: Food insecurity is harmful to all people, but it is particularly devastating to children. Proper nutrition is critical to a child’s development. Not having enough of the right kinds of food can have serious implications for a child’s physical and mental health, academic achievement and future success.
Working in the environment where families are most comfortable often lets home visitors get to know families in a much more intimate way, which sets the stage for close, trusting relationships and increased likelihood of identifying if a family is food insecure. If identified, home visitors have the perfect opportunity to connect families with needed services and programs designed to alleviate this burden.

Objectives:
By the end of this training, Home Visitors will be able to:                    

  • Recognize the importance of family engagement and collaboration                 
  • Apply strategies for motivating families to actively engage in home visiting                 
  • Understand common barriers to family engagement and approaches to overcome them                 
  • Demonstrate methods to engage “hard to reach” families                 
  • Express the importance of family involvement once a child becomes school-aged     

Module 28: Continuing Education and Career Development for Families in Home Visiting

Length: 2-2.5 hours
ETO: Parental Well Being & Stability

Overview: Arkansas is one of the poorest states in the nation. Its median income is the second lowest in the country, and it ranks among the ten worst states in terms of poverty and lack of health care coverage. Compounding this problem, only 18 percent of Arkansans have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. How can a state so deeply entrenched in poverty begin to dig its way out?

Adult education is about helping people take control of their lives, improving their lives through further education, allowing them to put something back into their community, and opening the door to more job opportunities. This module is a step by step guide to connect families in home visiting with local adult education resources to meet their needs and continuing to assist them beyond adult education, including college or career help.

Objectives:

By the end of this training, Home Visitors will be able to:

  • Explain how adult education programs may benefit parents
  • Discuss the impact the parent’s education level may have on children in the home
  • List factors affecting or limiting parents from seeking to continue their education
  • Provide parents with assistance identifying, locating, and enrolling in local adult education classes
  • Help parents plan for the next step beyond adult education, including college or career

Module 29 – Strategies to Support Family Engagement in Home Visiting
Length:2 - 2,5 hours
ETO: Methods and Approaches to Working with Parents

Overview: Parents are the first and most influential teacher in a child’s life and research has shown that family engagement in home visits predicts better program outcomes for parents and children. Effective home visitors engage families by focusing their child’s development, interacting positively to support child development, using family activities for learning, and engaging in collaborative planning. This module will assist home visitors in engaging family’s efforts to promote their children’s healthy development and learning through actively participating in home visits.

Objectives:

By the end of this training, Home Visitors will be able to

  • Recognize the importance of family engagement and collaboration
  • Apply strategies for motivating families to actively engage in home visiting
  • Understand common barriers to family engagement and approaches to overcome them
  • Demonstrate methods to engage hard to reach families
  • Express the importance of family involvement once a child becomes school-aged

Module 30 – Health Literacy and Plain Language for Home Visitors

Length:2 – 2.5 hours
ETO: Methods and Approaches to Working with Parents

Overview: Training in health literacy and plain language is essential for home visitors. Families enrolled in home visiting programs should be able to easily understand the public health information distributed and discussed during home visits.This training will introduce home visitors to the fundamentals of health literacy and plain language and challenges home visitors to think about the significance of it when working with families. Home visitors will learn practical steps to apply the principles and strategies of health literacy.

Objectives:

By the end of this training, Home Visitors will be able to

  • Define and describe health literacy
  • Understand how it applies to home visitors and the families they serve
  • Recognize the consequences of limited health literacy and address barriers families face
  • Apply strategies to improve health literacy
  • Effectively communicate in plain language, written and spoken

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Module 31: Parental Mental Health:  Impact on Parenting and Home Visiting

Length
: 2.0-2.5 hours
ETO: Parenting Well Being and Stability

Overview
:
Home visiting provides support to families in a non-threatening environment and enables the home visitor to intervene early in a child’s life before negative experiences can have a long-term impact on their health and development. However, many home visitors feel uncomfortable in voicing concerns regarding mental health due to lack of training. This training introduces home visitors to basic information about mental health and mental health disorders. It provides a basic understanding of how mental health disorders impact the parent, as well as, the family along with information on providing support and referring to necessary professionals..

Objectives:
By the end of this training, Home Visitors will be able to:

  • Exhibit a basic understanding of mental health and mental health disorders             
  • Identify their personal feelings and stigmas associated with mental health disorders and how these beliefs impact the families with whom they work                 
  • Develop positive strategies to use when interacting with individuals and families affected by mental health disorders                 
  • Recognize behaviors and symptoms with common mental health disorders.                 
  • Identify challenges specific to parents with mental illness                 
  • Recognize risk factors associated with untreated mental illness and discuss ways to provide support, resources, and make referrals to appropriate medical, mental, or behavioral health professional 
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Module 32: Helping Families Affected by Parental Substance Abuse


Length:
2.0-2.5 hours
ETO: Parenting Well Being and Stability

Overview:
Substance abuse is a significant problem in the U.S. and truly affects the entire family. Children affected by parental substance abuse are often at risk of harm to their health, development, and welfare. Home visitors have the perfect opportunity to intervene early and provide the family with needed support and resources which is the key to reducing harm to the entire family. This training provides information about substance abuse and specific signs and symptoms home visitors might observe. It explains the different behavioral, emotional, and physical effects that parent’s substance abuse issues have on their children, and guides home visitors in applying strategies and support to help elicit healthy change. 

Objectives:
By the end of this training, Home Visitors will be able to:        
  • Recognize signs and symptoms of parental substance abuse                 
  • Discuss the impact of parental substance abuse has on children                 
  • Identify protective factors of parental substance abuse                 
  • Explore ways to support children and families affected by parental substance abuse 

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Module 33 – Helping Parents Keep Their Home Safe

Length: 2.5-3.0 hours
ETO: Health and Safety

Overview: Unintentional injury is the main cause of death in infants and young children and are they are preventable! Children in home visiting programs are at a higher risk because they are still growing, discovering their environment and spending much of their time where many hazards exist. For this reason, home safety is an important topic that needs to be “top of mind” in every household. This training will equip home visitors with important safety information to share with families, guide home visitors in how to assist families in decreasing hazards, and help identify beneficial resources according to each family’s needs.

Objectives:
By the end of this training, Home Visitors will be able to:
  • Understand the importance of home safety 
  • Help parents identify hazards in their home
  • Help parents eliminate or minimize recognized hazards

 

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OTHER TRAINING TOPICS 

The following training is limited to: Coordinators, Supervisors, and Administrators:                                                                                            

Module 100: Reflective Supervision            

Length: 2-3 hours    

Overview: Effective supervision of home visitors is a key factor in making home visitation programs successful. Reflective supervision is a type of supervision that is increasingly being used in home visitation programs. This training for supervisors/coordinators will cover the core principles of reflective supervision as well as how to implement this process in supervision sessions with home visitors.

Objectives:        
  • Better understand the multiple goals of supervision.                 
  • Better understand the core principles of reflective supervision.                 
  • Be able to use reflective supervision more effectively with the home visitors they supervise.

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 Module 101: The Importance of Individual Professional Development Plans for Home Visitors            

Length: 1 hour

Overview: Professional development is a key component of effective home visitation programs. In order to be most effective, professional development needs to be assessed for each home visitor. Home visitors and their supervisors should work together to assess individual needs and develop an annual Professional Development Plan (PDP) that meets the identified needs.                                                                                             

Objectives

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Module 102: Reducing Home Visitor Attrition            

Length: 1-2 hours

Overview: Home visitor attrition is a significant problem for many home visitation programs. Supervisors/coordinators and administrators need to understand the issues related to home visitor attrition, especially those issues they have control over. This training is designed to focus on specific strategies supervisors/coordinators and administrators can utilize to reduce staff attrition in their home visitation programs

Objectives

  • To understand the use of Realistic Job Previews (RJPs) to reduce attrition. 
  • Be able to improve the job applicant interviewing process to reduce attrition. 
  • To better understand the importance, to attrition, of staff orientation and socialization.

 

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Module 300: Impact of Domestic Violence on Families Futures Without Violence: Health Moms Happy Babies

Length: 3 hours            
ETO: Dynamics of Family Relationships

Overview: The curriculum provides tools and resources to help home visitation staff address the complex and sometimes uncomfortable issue of domestic violence. When it comes to promoting health and safety outcomes for women and children impacted by domestic violence, there is a methodology to effective assessment, primary prevention, and anticipatory guidance messaging during home visits. What one says and how it is said—whether by direct assessment or through universal education—matters and can make a difference for women and children living with domestic violence. First, home visitation professionals need education about the impact of violence on families. They also require tools to support assessment and conversations about domestic violence. This curriculum provides simple tools to support assessment and education through the use of scripts and safety cards during home visits. These tools have been designed to facilitate safety planning and supported referrals to domestic violence programs.

Objectives: 
By the end of this training Home Visitors will be able to:         
  • Become more aware of the effects of domestic violence on women, children, and families .                 
  • Become more comfortable with identifying and addressing domestic violence and reproductive coercion with families.                 
  • Demonstrate competency in educating parents about how their childhood experiences of victimization can be triggered or re-experienced and where to turn for help and support