Minnesota is embedding reflective practice at every level within the home visiting system in an effort to improve outcomes for families and home visiting professionals.
Minnesota’s work embedding reflective practice at every level within the home visiting system began in response to a 2008 statewide needs assessment, which found that home visitors wanted more experience, training, and support to incorporate reflective practice and relationship-based principles into their everyday work. The Minnesota Department of Health created a reflective practice pilot for home visiting to meet that need. With support of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, that pilot is now being implemented statewide. To build capacity for reflective practice, programs have found the following mentoring approach to be a strategy for success:
- Home visiting team participates in introductory trainings on Infant Mental Health and Reflective Practice
- Supervisors receive 18-24 months of regular 1:1 reflective consultation from reflective practice mentor (approximately 2 hours per month per supervisor)
- Supervisor and Reflective Practice Mentor co-facilitate monthly reflective practice case conference with each team (approximately 2 hours per month per team)
Supervisors provide regular individual reflective practice supervision to their team members. At the state level, home visiting program staff meet regularly with reflective practice consultants to create a state system supporting reflective practices. At the local level, organizations implementing MIECHV-funded home visiting are required to contract with an infant mental health consultant to help facilitate integration of reflective practices, increase managers’ skills to engage in reflective practice, and provide case support. Finally, home visitors engage the parents as a partner in the discovery of new learning and understanding about their babies in order to support and enhance their health and well-being.