A Relational Approach to Infant/Toddler Intervention

This series is designed for Early Head Start programs, providing foundational training in the concepts, principles and techniques of a strengths-based, relational approach to working with pregnant women and vulnerable families with infants and toddlers in their homes.  The integrative strengths-based approach presented is informed by research and theory in attachment, child development, infant mental health, ecosystemic psychology, and family systems theory. The overarching goal of the training is to develop home visitors who are “reflective practitioners. Teaching methods include a combination of didactic presentation, discussion, videotape observation, and practice via role-plays.  A strong emphasis is placed on reflection and experiential activity.   Individual workshops may include the following:

  • An Introduction to a Relational Model of Child Development and Change
  • The Core Principles of an Infant Mental Health Approach to Home Visiting
  • Learning to See Pattern: An Introduction to Family Systems Concepts
  • Fostering Secure Attachments
  • Creating a “Therapeutic” Working Alliance with Caregivers
  • Becoming a Reflective Supervisor
  • Clinical Case Consultations in Reflective Practice

The objectives of this series are to enable participants to: 1) Describe the core principles of a relational approach to home visiting; 2) Recognize when applying a relational, family-centered approach versus an individualistic, professionally-centered approach; 3) Clearly define the home visitor role and articulate the kind of practitioners they wish to be; 4) Identify key interactional patterns between children and their caregivers that foster growth and development (strengths) and those that undermine it (vulnerabilities); 5) Demonstrate strategies for creating a “therapeutic” alliance with caregivers; and 6) Describe intergenerational and contextual influences on parenting  and how to individually tailor interventions based on them.

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