Observation and assessment provide vital information to home visitors about parents, children, and family life, as well as guide home visiting practices. Informal observations are useful, but home visitors also need systematic, unbiased, and valid formal assessments. According to the Head Start Act (ACF, 2007), EHS-HBO programs must
(1) provide, either directly or through referral, early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services that will enhance the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of participating children; (6) ensure that children with documented behavioral problems, including problems involving behavior related to prior or existing trauma, receive appropriate screening and referral.(Sec. 645A. [42 U.S.C. 9840A]) In addition to the program requirements for monitoring child development and behavior, home visitors need expanded knowledge in assessing parenting and the home environment. The CUPID competency for Observing Behavior, Development and Environments is as follows (CUPID, 2017; Roggman et al., 2016): Competency Observing and assessing children and families in order to adapt and individualize goals and practices, including supporting children’s unique needs and cultural identities Knowledge Expanded knowledge of assessment of parenting and the quality of the home environment Skills Skills for helping parents assess child development; assessing home visiting practices and processes; and, assessing the program’s learning environment for parents Attitudes Attitudes that support assessment as a collaborative process for positive purposes and respect parents’ expertise on the child
For full alignment see Appendix B.