Berkeley County First Steps in South Carolina:
Strategies for Success with KIPS
Berkeley County First Steps - Parents as Teachers
Goose Creek, South Carolina
Our rural Parents as Teachers (PAT) home visiting program serves low income parents in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. We present the parenting assessment videotaping to families as a tool for informing goal development. As an extra benefit we give the video to families, so they have a keepsake. They can also share the video. We meet monthly and discuss any challenges that Parent Educators may have had during the month. We brainstorm and look at what another Parent Educator has done to find a resolution if needed. The online videos found in the KIPS Library-Resources under KIPS Advisors have also been helpful in hearing how others in the field have addressed a similar concern.
For example, during one monthly staff meeting an educator mentioned how, while assessing parenting children would want her to come down to the floor with them like she would normally do during a visit. They were distracted by her being behind the camera. Suggestions from our educators were to discuss with mom ways to redirect the child when they would start toward the educator --introduce something new, exaggerate her voice, do something different with the toy or book or ask the child a question. For the most part, after awhile the child will continue to play with the parent.
During the home visit after viewing the video with the parent, we give them an opportunity to choose areas for improvement. We use the KIPS Qs (found in the KIPS Library-Resources-Tools) to ask specific reflective questions to help parents see their strengths and discover areas they may want to work on. When a parent acknowledges a concern, we offer the parent the opportunity to add it to the goals they are working on using the PAT Goal Setting handout.
Among the handouts available in the KIPS Library-Resources (found in Resources-Tools-Supporting Parents), the Promoting Responsive Parenting using KIPS looks at each of the twelve behaviors and gives great tips we can offer to the parent about what the behavior looks like. Also, the KIPS Activity Chart offers a spread sheet of actual activities we can share with the families for each specific behavior. The parent has the opportunity to make that information a part of their family plan.
Our program is a 10-month program running from August to May; so each year we conduct a KIPS Tune Up Day for Parent Educators. When we return in August we schedule our KIPS Tune Up Day for September, giving everyone an opportunity to get settled. By September, we have a good feel for what the caseloads will look like and we can better project when to schedule families' KIPS assessments.
When we schedule our KIPS Tune Up Day, we also register for the KIPS Library for the year. The day is a fun one because we are all working together. We use a meeting room that allows us access to a computer for each parent educator. We spend the first part of the day reviewing videos from the KIPS Library, discussing the behaviors and scoring as a group. This helps to rebuild our KIPS skills and comfort level after being away from it for awhile. We have snacks (plenty of chocolate makes everything better) and we take a break for lunch. After lunch we are ready to do our individual KIPS Annual Check Ups. We are a close knit group and enjoy each other's company. Supporting each other makes the day work!
Feel free to chime in with your ideas via the email discussion group, KIPSter Connection. Write Phil at firstname.lastname@example.org to join the KIPSter Connection.
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