III. EXPLORING POSITIONS
Description: Recognizing the family as the child's first teacher, the home visitor works in the homes of participating families, building positive relationships with them to support their parenting roles. People are employed to visit the home for various purposes depending on the sponsoring agency and/or programs. It may be for the purpose of direct instruction or evaluation of the child, parenting education, communication as a home/school liaison, parent advocacy or for providing early intervention services.
Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions: The family visitor has knowledge of child development and an understanding and appreciation of the families' social, economic and cultural background. They also have knowledge of the specific areas of focus of the program such as health, parent education, or special education services. Communication and interpersonal skills are vital to this position along with problem solving and confidentiality. Family visitors display acceptance and respect for each family's diversity and a cooperative spirit with coworkers. Family visitors also approach their work from a family strengths perspective rather than a deficit perspective.
Employment Settings: Each of the following organizations may employ home visitors or family workers for a specific purpose:
Public School - parenting education, home tutor, communication (See SECTION II.F)
Private School - communication (See SECTION II.E)
Child care and education programs - child/parent education, communication (See SECTIONS II.A, B, D)
Head Start - family support, child/parent education (See SECTION II.C)
Even Start - family literacy provider, child/parent education (See SECTION II)
Special Education - family support, child/parent education (See SECTIONS II.E,F)
Required Qualifications: The qualifications for family worker/home visitor vary widely depending on the sponsoring agency and the purpose of the program. While some may require only a high school diploma with training such as Head Start family workers, others may require a master's degree such as child early intervention services.
Preparation: The preparation for this position depends on the sponsoring agency. (See REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS above.) Individuals lacking educational preparation for these positions should consider acquiring a Child Development Associate Credential (home visiting) or a Family Development Credential (FDC). (See SECTION V, PREPARING TO LEARN A)
Most all persons holding this position must be cleared through the NYS Central Registry of Child Abuse and fingerprints submitted to required authorities. The necessity of a clearance is determined by the work setting.
Job Outlook: More and more school districts and intervention programs are recognizing the importance of the family's contribution to positive outcomes for children. There are many different kinds of positions in this field so it is not possible to assess job outlook or earnings other than to say that these positions are increasingly in demand and may require extensive education that brings more substantial earnings.
Earnings: Vary widely according to qualifications and geographic locations.
Opportunity for Advancement: This varies according to the person's qualifications as well as the nature and size of program.
Serving Children Directly – Play partner in Family Resource Center, Home Visitor bringing enrichment activities to children.
Serving Families Directly – Family Advocate.
Providing Information Goods and Services – Referral agent for community services.