We know that home visitation is an important resource for Denver’s children and families. Home visiting programs are proven to improve health, parent-child interactions, decrease parental stress, improve school-readiness, and reduce child maltreatment. Within Denver, a variety of home visitation programs exist. However, home visitors from across the various programs rarely have the opportunity to get together to build relationships that are vital to good communication and collaboration, potentially resulting in families who are over – or underserved by home visitation.
To address this issue, LAUNCH Together supported the development of the Southwest Denver Home Visitation Collaborative (The Collaborative) to provide a forum for home visitors to learn together, support each other, and collaborate to maximize family strengths and community resources. The goals of the Southwest Denver Home Visitation Collaborative are to:
- Create space for shared learning and reflective practice, including space for home visitors to provide and receive support from other home visitors
- Build relationships between home visitors from different organizations and programs that serve Southwest Denver families
- Promote coordination between programs, including cross-referral of families
After our first meeting in February 2020, participants told us they valued the opportunity to be able to network with other home visitors, support each other, and share resources. As one participant wrote, “Thank you for…creating this group to be able to connect to one another and make a bigger support network and have more resources for our community” (translated from Spanish). Many who participated expressed an interest in opportunities to share resources and referrals.
To support this interest, the Collaborative developed a Home Visitation Resource Guide. The guide is intended for home visitors and other early childhood professionals who may want to refer to home visitation programs. It contains valuable information, including brief program descriptions for each program, as well as information about geography, eligibility, and how to make a referral. The final page of this guide provides a brief Program Directory for Families that can be given to families to support a referral.
The Home Visitation Collaborative has created a valuable space for home visitors to come together to better serve families in Southwest Denver. The Home Visitation Resource Guide is one tool that has emerged from this collaboration that we hope will support increased knowledge, shared understanding, and collaborative relationships among home visitors and other early childhood professionals.