“It felt so good to be heard,” said a Home Visiting Supervisors Institute participant after being handed the microphone. “I am an introvert and never expected to get so vulnerable. But my (activity) partner’s warmth made space for me to share a difficult experience.”

Things usually get real like this at HVSI, an annual event for leaders of early childhood home visiting programs across Arizona. The Institute supports participants to build skills to become more effective, authentic, and courageous leaders. This year, the Institute focused on a topic that can make or break an organization: psychological safety.

Psychological safety is about creating soft spaces for individuals to be included, learn, contribute, and challenge the status quo – four essential elements in any team.

Home visitors meet families in tender moments of overwhelm as they navigate the early stages of new parenthood. Home visitors can only be as helpful as the degree to which they understand the family’s needs. This requires a great deal of trust and vulnerability from parents to be seen and heard in their most authentic form. Here’s where psychological safety enters the picture.

But home visitors must experience psychological safety within their teams to begin the parallel process of modeling it for their families. That is why the Home Visiting Supervisors Institute it so valuable – it supports the supervisors who support the home visitors who support families. This institute is hosted every year by Strong Families AZ, First Things First, the Department of Child Safety’s Office of Prevention, and Prevent Child Abuse Arizona to build on supervisor abilities to lead their teams and families.

If you or you know of someone expecting a child who could benefit from the support of a home visitor, join a home visiting program today.