Tackling the Tough Stuff: A Home Visitor’s Guide to Supporting Families at Risk

Home visits with at-risk families present unique, complex challenges that professionals must be ready to address with skill and sensitivity. The problem-solving framework in this practical guide will help home visitors manage even the most difficult on-the-job challenges—and support and empower vulnerable families of children birth to 3.

The authors’ PAUSE framework (Perceive, Ask, Understand, Strategize, and Evaluate) walks home visitors through the entire process of addressing problems, from recognizing a difficult situation to evaluating the chosen action steps. Readers will learn how to apply the framework in real-world situations, partner with parents to understand their perspectives, take direct and effective action to help the parents and children they work with, and give at-risk families the tools they need to resolve their own challenges in the future.

HOME VISITORS WILL:

  • Skillfully blend relationship-based and reflective practice approaches in their daily work
  • Understand what’s behind children’s challenging behaviors
  • Learn specific tips for helping families solve key challenges, from feeding issues to meltdowns
  • Work sensitively and effectively with families facing difficult situations, including domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental illness
  • Equip families with practical caregiving skills they’ll use long after the home visit is over
  • Set appropriate boundaries with families and mend any breaks in the provider–caregiver relationship
  • Use self-care strategies to address symptoms of burnout and secondary trauma

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: Helpful sample dialogues and vignettes to use as models, plus reproducible blank forms on exploring challenging behaviors, discussing difficult topics, reflecting on practices, helping parents improve their skills, and more.

By Angela M. Tomlin Ph.D., HSPP, and Stephan A. Viehweg ACSW, LCSW. 2016. 240 pages. ISBN 978-1-59857-927-7. #BP213.

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