Olympic-Kitsap Peninsulas Home Visiting Summit


By Marlaina Simmons
Regional Coordinator
Olympic-Kitsap Peninsulas Early Learning Regional Coalition

For the first time ever on the Olympic Peninsula, we are bringing together home visitors for networking and training.
In the field of home visiting, professionals face unique challenges and require specialized support. We hope to address some of their needs at the Home Visiting Summit, a one-day conference Oct. 24 at the Fort Worden Conference Center in Port Townsend. (For more information about attending, contact Marlaina Simmons at masimmons@oesd.wednet.edu.)
About a year ago, the Olympic-Kitsap Peninsulas Early Learning Coalition started bringing together organizations that provide home visiting services. We held a roundtable discussion with representatives from about 10 home visiting programs; they discussed the model they implement, as well as their challenges and opportunities. It became clear that there weren’t a lot of conference opportunities geared toward home visitors.
>> What is home visiting?
Since that discussion, our coalition has continued to work with these organizations and connect them with information on the importance of oral health and the Access to Baby and Child Dentistry program, as well as resources such “Love. Talk. Play.” These same organizations were instrumental in the planning of the Oct. 24 summit.
Mary Foltz, a developmental consultant formerly with the Portland State University Early Childhood Training Center, will be providing the summit’s keynote presentation. She will set the stage with the importance of home visitors and the relationships they build with the families they serve. She will follow up with a breakout session. The event will also include a panel presentation with representatives from various home visiting models in our region. Other breakout session topics: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), infant mental health, cavity-free kids, and brain development.
To find out more about the 2014 Home Visiting Summit, please contact Marlaina Simmons at masimmons@oesd.wednet.edu.