These services are delivered by our experienced, trusted and caring professional home visitors. We’d like to introduce you to one of them.
Heidi Sullivan is a professional Home Visitor and Supervisor and has been serving families for more than 10 years.
1.)What is the best part of your job?
The absolute best part of my job is working closely with families in their home, being able to provide support to them in a very “hands on” approach. Having the privilege to be an extension of their support system and at times almost extended family.
Earning their trust and respect as someone who they can ask difficult questions to about parenting and being able to share the excitement and milestones of watching their first child grow and develop. I really enjoy being able to teach and provide the tools that can help a Mom be a successful and loving parent in a way that they feel proud of.
I always tell people when they ask me “why I do my job”… I tell them that parenting is HARD WORK and I just feel that every child deserves to have a great Mom and that every Mom deserves a shot at being a great parent.
2.) What is the hardest part of your job as a Home Visitor Professional?
The hardest part for me is what we call “transition or graduation”. It’s a bittersweet process that takes place as we say good bye and help Mom move her 3 year old to preschool (which is a goal of ours as Visitors).
Another hard part is when you have a child that that may require additional services due to a delay or special need and struggling to access those services. It’s a full time job for these very often single mothers, juggling the many appointments and demands when trying to meet the extensive needs for their child/family.
3.) What is the biggest misconception about Home Visitation programs?
The biggest misconception about Home Visitation is that it often gets compared to traditional Parenting Classes. That Home Visitors “tell you what to do without consideration of the family’s individual circumstances”.
Our program is unique in that it is research based and at the same time, tailored to the needs of mom and baby. We of course utilize a curriculum that is based on the development and chronological age, but our Visitors are skilled in a way that they can assess the strengths and weakness of the child and the parent, meeting them where they are, and providing a holistic approach of care and support.
We also fully incorporate materials/aids that allow mom to participate in the process of teaching their own baby and being the “expert” through a parent-child interactive model of using crafts/supplies that can be found in a household like soda bottles, dried beans, toilet paper tubes, etc. In addition, our program is long term voluntary and most importantly, FUN!