Supporting Those Who Support Families: Home Visiting Conference


By Lindsay Newcomer
Coalition Coordinator
Southwest Early Learning Regional Coalition

Home visiting professionals in our region said they need more support and training, so we responded with a Home Visitor Conference. On Nov. 14, we brought together home visitors throughout the region to network, as well as receive training on maternal mental health and family engagement.
With trainers Mary Foltz and Wendy Davis on hand, more than 60 home visitors learned about maternal mental health, how to recognize postpartum depression, and what they can do to help parents dealing with these issues. The professionals came from many agencies and programs, including Head Start, Early Head Start, ECEAP, Maternity Support Services and Nurse-Family Partnership. The event was free, and each attendee received a home visiting resource book.

The home visiting conference was held in conjunction with the 3rd annual infant to third grade conference for educators and caregivers of young children. That even, on November 15 in Longview, tallied 230 registrants and included a keynote presentation, “Teach Me What to Do Instead!” from Gail E. Joseph, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Early Childhood and Families Studies at the University of Washington. Sessions included First Responders for Family Thriving; Principles of Positive Discipline; Building Joyful Instruction in Family child Care Settings; Sensory Processing Strategies in the Classroom; Stupendous STEMazing Stuff; and Fun with Writing for Diverse Levels in the Kindergarten Day.
With the support of sponsors, registration costs for the Nov. 15 event were low, at $35 per attendee.
Planning has now started for next year’s events. We received great feedback from evaluations and are excited to further expand the home visiting conference!