According to the NY Times, four out of five people who make New Year’s resolutions will eventually break them. In fact, a third won’t even make it to the end of January (which is EXACTLY why I don’t bother!). Even when we subconsciously resolve to get back into shape or be more organized those small promises to ourselves usually do not last. What if you switched things up this year and made a promise to the families and children on your caseload? How about ‘resolving’ to be more family centered in your approach during your home visits?
Becoming family centered does not necessarily come easily and old clinical habits are difficult to break despite mounting evidence that it results in the best possible outcomes for families and young children. So what barriers are there to changing how you do your job? One big barrier is a real lack of mentorship and support. Within the field of early intervention therapists tend to work in isolation with rare opportunities to network with other early interventionists and professional peers. Opportunity to share with each other what does and does not work with families, frustrations encountered when trying to include parents in your sessions, or even challenges leaving that well stocked toy bag in the trunk of your car is in my view critical. In order to successfully implement family centered care we need to intentionally seek out one another. Spend time during lunch breaks to talk about your sessions. Carve out time to network with each other either in person or electronically. Share wonderful resources or creative ways you used a household item with a friend. You could even reply to this blog J
2014 is officially your chance to ‘resolve’ to put into practice what the evidence tells us works best for our families. Be that 1 person out of 5 that DOES keep your resolution and support the early intervention community along the way!