SUPPORTING DUAL LANGUAGE LEARNERS THROUGH HOME VISITING: CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES. Carol Brady, MA, Project Director, FL MIECHV

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1 SUPPORTING DUAL LANGUAGE LEARNERS THROUGH HOME VISITING: CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES Carol Brady, MA, Project Director, FL MIECHV

2 Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting Initiative (MIECHV) Goal: To support vulnerable families who seek help with their most important job raising healthy and safe children who enter school ready to learn. Authorized by Affordable Care Act (ACA). $1.5 billion in funding ( ) to support evidence-based home visiting programs, early childhood systems development Funding provided to states (formula, competitive) Reauthorized in April for two years ($800m) Primary focus: 0-3 Meet parents where they are.

3 Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting Initiative (MIECHV) Focus on impacting outcomes in six benchmark areas: Improved maternal and newborn health; Prevention of child injuries, child abuse, neglect, or maltreatment, and reduction of emergency department visits; Improvement in school readiness and achievement; Reduction in crime or domestic violence; Improvements in family economic selfsufficiency; and Improvements in the coordination and referrals for other community resources and supports.

4 Florida MIECHV Implemented through Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions, Inc. $6.2m annually 16 of 29 highneed areas served 900+ families, 10,000+ home visits (2014)

5 Hispanic & Latino families 59,000+ babies annually born to Hispanic & Latino families about 27% of all births (2013). Half to foreign-born mothers. 21% of FL MIECHV participants in the state (4 areas:40-50%) Spanish is primary language spoken in 12% of homes

6 Immigrant families Hispanic & Haitian immigrants served by MIECHV experience particular challenges due to: Language barriers, Legal status, Limited access to resources & Social isolation. Barriers addressed by: Hiring bilingual staff, Hiring skilled case managers familiar with resources available to immigrant families, Building strong trusting relationships with clients.

7 Survey of Home Visitors: Serving Dual Language Learners Home visitors serving families in programs located in areas with 40%+ Hispanic or Latino families (n=29) Includes all evidence-based models (NFP, PAT, HFF) Purpose: How well are they prepared? How useful are assessment tools, resources? Challenges??

8 Survey of Home Visitors: Serving Dual Language Learners: Adequacy of Training Very little training. N=29 The training would be helpful. N=29

9 Survey of Home Visitors: Serving Dual Language Learners: Screening tools N=29 (Greatest challenge is) Having the most up to date information and tools to help them on their decisions of teaching the languages to their kids.

10 Survey of Home Visitors: Serving Dual Language Learners: Personal knowledge I am both English and Spanish speaking, I have no problem. N=29 The only resources available are forms in Spanish. I have very limited knowledge on development of DLL.

11 Survey of Home Visitors: Serving Dual Language Learners: Challenges The translation of (model materials) from English to Spanish are not accurate at all and utilize words that are only used when referring to animals. I have to explain and apologize to clients about the mistakes before I give them the (materials) in order to prevent misunderstandings and/or hurt their feelings. Being able to answer questions parents have about their child's language development. Bilingual books for dual language learners. My greatest challenge is to empower my participants to use the access or benefits they have available for their children. Parents have the limit of the language because they do not speak English. The program is referring them to study English which is going to help them and their children.

12 What we learned Home visitors focus first on families immediate needs Culturally knowledgeable, bilingual staff support for DLLs Training! Core competencies! Better assessment tools, educational resources (even if translated) needed Resources even more limited for other language speakers (Creole, for example).

13 What we need Best practices for supporting parents of DLLs 0-3 Appropriate assessment tools Well-translated educational and support material for parents of DLLs Increased collaboration with Head Start & other early childhood education programs

14 Thank you! Carol Brady Project Director

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