Observing Behavior, Development, and Environments
This chapter examines observation and assessment in home visiting and focuses on observing parenting and the quality of the home environment. 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. Assessment also includes formal methods, such as scientific measures with established reliability and validity. Home visitors may use a variety of other informal methods to systematically gather information about parenting and the home environment. The home visitor’s knowledge of parenting education and guidance can be used to guide how observation and assessment are integrated within the home visiting process. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is another element of family violence that the home visitor may observe in the household. The root of all IPV is power and control over another, but it can take various forms.