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The influence of home visitors on family engagement in early head start

Einhorn, Sara (2014) The influence of home visitors on family engagement in early head start. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Background/Objective: Early Head Start (EHS) is a well-known program serving largely low-income families of children from pregnancy to age three in the areas of health, parenting and school readiness. It has shown unparalleled success in achieving program goals and impacting hard to reach populations. This success hinges on family engagement resulting from the relationships formed between home visitors and families. The main objectives of this quality improvement evaluation were to determine what factors contribute to family engagement and participation. Methods: In-depth interviews with all home visitors (n=4) were conducted, audio recorded, and transcribed. They were asked about their perceptions of how their practices and relationships with clients influence family engagement in the program. Program and administrative data (e.g., number of monthly contacts, referrals, and contact notes) were also analyzed to determine if this information revealed patterns in family engagement and participation. Results: Results indicate inconsistent documentation concerning family contact and communities. Despite a lack of indicators for measures of relationship, analysis of the data demonstrates an association between the home visitor’s relationship with the family and engagement. In-depth interviews further highlighted the importance of the relationship between the home visitor and families, respect between the two, and honesty. Conclusions: The relationship between home visitors and families is the key to keeping families engaged in EHS. More research should be done on how these relationships affect success in the program. Recommendations for program include home visitor training to increase the quality of relationships, better measures of engagement and relationship, annual satisfaction surveys, and more consistent data collection by the home visitors. This evaluation helps ensure high quality service to families through the development of staff which in turn affects the social, emotional and physical health of children and their families, one considerable focus of public health.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Einhorn, Sara
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBear, Todd Mtobst2@pitt.eduTOBST2UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberVoorhees, Ronaldrev12@pitt.eduREV12UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberElias, Thistleelias@pitt.eduELIASUNSPECIFIED
ContributorGallagher, Deborahdgallagher@cotraic.orgUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 25 April 2014
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 26 May 2015 17:22
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 10:55


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