Tackling the Tough Stuff: A Home Visitor's Guide to Supporting Families at Risk

Tackling the Tough Stuff: A Home Visitor's Guide to Supporting Families at Risk

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Home visits with at-risk families present unique, complex challenges that professionals must be ready to address with skill and sensitivity. The problem-solving framework in this practical guide will help home visitors manage even the most difficult on-the-job challenges—and support and empower vulnerable families of children birth to 3.

The authors' PAUSE framework (Perceive, Ask, Understand, Strategize, and Evaluate) walks home visitors through the entire process of addressing problems, from recognizing a difficult situation to evaluating the chosen action steps. Readers will learn how to apply the framework in real-world situations, partner with parents to understand their perspectives, take direct and effective action to help the parents and children they work with, and give at-risk families the tools they need to resolve their own challenges in the future.


  • Skillfully blend relationship-based and reflective practice approaches in their daily work
  • Understand what's behind children's challenging behaviors
  • Learn specific tips for helping families solve key challenges, from feeding issues to meltdowns
  • Work sensitively and effectively with families facing difficult situations, including domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental illness
  • Equip families with practical caregiving skills they'll use long after the home visit is over
  • Set appropriate boundaries with families and mend any breaks in the provider–caregiver relationship
  • Use self-care strategies to address symptoms of burnout and secondary trauma

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: Helpful sample dialogues and vignettes to use as models, plus reproducible blank forms on exploring challenging behaviors, discussing difficult topics, reflecting on practices, helping parents improve their skills, and more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681251806
Publisher: Brookes Publishing
Publication date: 05/02/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 2400
File size: 21 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 3 Months to 3 Years

About the Author

Dr. Tomlin, HSP, IMH-E®, is Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Riley Child Development LEND Program, a nationally recognized interdisciplinary leadership training program supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and located at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She is the author or co-author of 20 publications on topics that include mental infant health, autism spectrum disorder, and workforce development.

Stephan A. Viehweg, ACSW, LCSW, IMH-E®, is Assistant Research Professor and Associate Director of the Riley Child Development Center, a nationally recognized interdisciplinary leadership training program supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and faculty member of the IU School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics and the IU School of Social Work. He is founding chair of the Indiana Association for Infant and Toddler Mental Health and founding president of Family Voices Indiana.

Read an Excerpt

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PAUSE—A Problem-Solving Framework: Blending Relationship and Reflective Skills

Table of Contents

About the Authors
Deborah Weatherston, Ph.D., IMH-E® (IV)


Getting Started

1. Connecting and Keeping Connected: Relationships Matter

2. Looking Inside: Reflective Practice and Relationships for Learning

3. PAUSE - A Problem Solving Framework: Blending Relationship and Reflective Skills Appendix 3A: PAUSE Worksheet Appendix 3B: Reflection Worksheet

4. What's Going on in There? Understanding Causes of Behavior Appendix 4A: Exploring Challenging Behaviors Worksheet

5. When Parents Say…Calm Down! Early Regulation: Sleeping, Eating, and Calming Appendix 5A: Tips for Calming Your Baby

6. When Parents Say…Stop That! Biting, Hitting, Throwing and Meltdowns Appendix 6A: Timely Tips for Tolerating Challenging Behaviors

7. When Parents Say…Why Won’t You Listen? Cooperating and Following Directions Appendix 7A: Practice Reframing Commands

8. When Parents Say…Don't be Such a Baby: Fears and Separation Issues

9. What Else Might This Be? Family Challenges

10. You Can't Do this Alone: Boundaries, Self-Care and Supervision

Last Reflections


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