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Virginia Home Visiting Consortium
Professional Development, Home Visiting, Quality Improvement, Professional Development
Source Of Information:
ZERO TO THREE Policy Center state updates
Since December 2006, the Virginia Home Visiting Consortium (HVC) has worked to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of state-funded early childhood home visiting programs. The Consortium includes twelve home visiting programs housed within five state agencies, as well as two private agencies receiving public funding. In 2008, Virginia home visiting programs served 27,245 families with children 0-5 years old. The Consortium’s work focuses on five main task areas: infrastructure at the state and local levels, training, screening, data and evaluation, and quality improvement.
In an effort to better address the diverse needs of families, Virginia is working to increase staff skills and build better linkages among local communities’ existing home visiting programs, as well as between home visiting programs and health care or early education providers. The Consortium is also working to increase the visibility of home visiting among potential referral services and align their outcomes with state-level goals, such as decreased infant mortality and early referrals to Part C of IDEA. In 2007, the Consortium laid out the following objectives: -Provide core training to all state home visitors using live sessions and web courses; -Develop and provide training for all supervisors on “reflective supervision;” -Build local collaborative referral centers and develop joint publicity; -Distribute a guidance document of local collaborative and creative programs; -Identify a system for collecting core data elements; -Complete an evaluation across programs and implement a quality improvement process.
Believing that quality supervision and well-trained staff are essential to improving efficiency and effectiveness, one of the first tasks of the Consortium was to inventory training offered by each individual program. The Consortium subsequently identified twelve core training topics, which are now offered to all home visiting program staff across the state, both in person and online through James Madison University. All early childhood home visitors in Virginia are trained on the core topics. In addition to these training modules, the Consortium created a standard referral form for use by health care and early childhood education providers and has agreed to common indicators for evaluation to be used across the programs within the Consortium.
The five state agencies involved have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to provide funding for the Consortium’s work on developing trainings and data collection. Other funding sources include State General Funds, Federal block grants, Head Start Collaboration funds, Part C training funds, Part B, Title V, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) funds. Currently, the HVC is overseeing the investment of more than $6 million into expansion of three evidence based home visiting models, Parents as Teachers, Healthy Families, and Nurse Family Partnership, in 23 cities and counties. The Consortium also received training funds through grants from the Family Violence Prevention Foundation, Oral Health Workforce Development, and Environmental Toxins/Lead Poisoning Prevention.
The Consortium conducted the Home Visiting Needs Assessment required by the federal health care reform legislation (HR 3590) to identify communities that have few quality home visitation programs and are at risk for poor maternal and child health. The Consortium held series of hearings throughout the state and conducted an online survey to gather input from a variety of stakeholders, including government officials, community leaders, early childhood professionals, and parents.