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Journal Issue: Home Visiting Volume 3 Number 3 Winter 1993

Staffing Issues for Home Visiting Programs
Barbara Hanna Wasik

Summary

The key to a successful home visiting program is the relationship established between home visitor and client. In this paper, Barbara Wasik employs research and her clinical experience as a designer of home visiting programs to discuss the critical considerations that must enter into the staffing of any home visiting program. She traces the changing roles of home visitors over time to conclude that today's visitors need more skills, knowledge, and flexibility than ever before in order to tailor services to the needs of the families they serve. Hiring decisions must be based on program goals and populations served, rather than on the possession of a particular educational degree. Nevertheless, to create and maintain a high-quality program, program administrators need to consider a range of issues including the skills and qualities of home visitors; the preservice and in-service training needs of home visitors; the supervision and support in addition to training that home visitors need after they are hired; and the implications of sometimes stressful working conditions for staff turnover. The article ends with recommendations for policymakers concerning staffing qualifications and preservice and in-service training for home visitors.