Basic Home Visitation Skills reasons to choose Basic Home Visitation Skills

About the Curriculum

Training Focus: Participants will be better equipped for working with families in a home environment.

About the Author

Sue Laney, president of Nurturing Resources, Inc.Sue Laney is the President of Nurturing Resources, Inc., the Executive Director for HEARTS for Families. and co-author of several curricula including “Nurturing God’s Way” Parenting Program for Christian Families® as well as this “Basic Home Visitation Skills” Training Curriculum©. She provides leadership and direction in carrying out the mission of NRI and HEARTS. She has experience in developing a strong statewide presence by currently serving as Project Director for the “Nurturing Georgia’s Families” Project, whereby she contracts with Georgia’s Department of Human Resources for approximately ten years to provide training and consulting of Nurturing Parenting Programs®. Mrs. Laney is also spear-heading the development of the Nurturing Network multi-county Drug-Free Coalition. She has been in child welfare for over 15 years. She has provided training for over 2,000 people in the programs mentioned above as well as child abuse prevention, facilitation skills, and small business management. Mrs. Laney is married, has an adult son and daughter and lives in the Atlanta area.

About the Program

The more nurturing skills a home visitor models, the more families will learn positive, nurturing skills bonding them together as a healthy family unit.  Therefore, “Basic Home Visitations Skills” is based on the Nurturing Parenting Programs which are research-based and validated as effective.  To learn more about the Nurturing Parenting Programs, visit

Curriculum Overview

The Basic Home Visitation Skills Training Curriculum© is designed and is most beneficial for the novice Home Visitor. Those with a long history of working with families may enjoy the refresher course. 
The training is experiential so participants are encouraged to dress comfortably. Training space needs to be ample for curriculum activities.  It is recommended that no more than 25 people attend per training for the encouragement of active participation of attendees.
 As this curriculum does not focus on any one home visitation related program, it is appropriate to be used as an additional resource for preparing agencies to meet their specific program goals. 
 This curriculum is designed for a 2-day training.  If desired, the training can be expanded to a 3-, 4-, or 5-day training with guest speakers covering related topics. 

Expansion topics may include:

  • Child abuse and neglect awareness
  • Increased safety techniques and awareness
  • Domestic violence
  • Substance abuse
  • Methamphetamines – home laboratories
  • Bonding activities for parents and their children (of all ages)
  • Ages and stages of child development
  • Available resources within the community served
  • Agency program related information (Ex:  Healthy Families, child protective services, literacy, school outreach, parent aide, resource mothers, community social workers, etc.)

If guest speakers for these topics are unavailable in your community, please contact HEARTS for Families at 770-972-3664 and we will be pleased to assist in scheduling this for you.  It is recommended that a training certificate be presented to participants for each additional topic covered and include the number of hours of training on each relative certificate.
 Training hours for the 2-day course is recommended as 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Average total cost for training supplies (paper, Play-Doh™, etc.) for 25 participants is approximately $75 plus the cost of life size baby dolls (4-6 depending on the training budget) and refreshments.  The supplies that are not consumed can be used in future trainings or taken on home visits and used with families.
There are elements of the training materials which can be reproduced and permission is given therein.
Answers to the questions asked of group members by the training facilitator are in bold print and brackets. 
Refreshments could begin from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and then again available at the mid-morning break.  Soft drinks could be offered at the mid-afternoon break.  Bottled water has been proven to be the beverage of choice.

Purpose and Goals for the Home Visitor Training

  1. To increase awareness of the importance of safety and prevention for the Home Visitor and the organization providing a program utilizing home visits with and for families.
  2. To screen out any potential unsuitable Home Visitor candidates.
  3. To provide practical skills for making general home visits.

Topics Covered

To increase awareness in:

• Characteristics of an Effective Home Visitor
• Various Roles a Home Visitor Plays with a Client / Family
• Sympathy vs. Empathy and the Roles of Each
• Personal Safety of the Home Visitor
• Appropriate Limits and Boundaries for a Home Visitor within the Client Relationship
• Child Abuse and Neglect Signs, Symptoms, Disclosure and Reporting
• Methamphetamine and it’s Impact on Families
• Activities and Home Visitation Curricula Which can be Used for Client Engagement

To gain practical experience in:
• Listening Skills
• Observation Skills for Documentation and Safety Purposes
• Working with Other Agencies to Achieve Client Family Goals
• Establishing a Positive Rapport with the Family
• Making that 1st Home Visit (and any additional visits)
• Evaluating a Client’s Progress

Participants who complete the training receive:
• Training Manual
• Practical Experience through Activity and Role-Play Participation and Observation
• Many Opportunities to Participate in Group Discussions
• A.M. and P.M. Breaks with Light Refreshments in the A.M. Break
• Opportunity to Network with Other Home Visitors and Social Service Professionals
• Certificate of Training Participation / Completion

Adaptations to the Training Curriculum

For additional support to home visitors, this training may be adapted to include awareness activities and information on:
• nurturing touch,
• professional ethics,
• child abuse awareness,
• substance abuse awareness,
• domestic violence, and
• other related topics based on goals of the program services being offered.

Home visitors and their supervisors need on going support as they deal with burn-out; confidentiality issues within close-knit communities; and sometimes, unsafe and crisis situations when entering the home of the families they serve.