Implementing Family Spirit® Meets HHS Criteria Meets HHS criteria for an evidenced based model in tribal populations

Implementation last updated: 2020

The information in this profile reflects feedback, if provided, from this model’s developer as of the above date. The description of the implementation of the model(s) here may differ from how the model(s) was implemented in the research reviewed to determine this model’s evidence of effectiveness. Inclusion in the implementation report does not mean the practices described meet the HHS criteria for evidence of effectiveness. Similarly, models described here may not all have impact studies, and those with impact studies may vary in their effectiveness. Please see the Effectiveness button on the left for more information about research on the effectiveness of the models discussed here.

Training to support implementation

Requirements for program certification

Organizations interested in the model must complete a readiness tool before affiliating with the Family Spirit national office to deliver the model. Interested organizations must provide information about their existing program, staffing, enrollment, evaluation processes, fidelity measurement and tools, and sustainability. Then, the Family Spirit team at the Johns Hopkins University Center for American Indian Health reviews the interested organization’s readiness tool, assesses the organization’s readiness and capacity to implement the model, and determines whether the model fits the organization’s needs. The Family Spirit team discusses the organization’s readiness during an introductory meeting with the organization. If the Family Spirit team determines that there are gaps in the organization’s capacity, the team provides guidance on how to address the gaps.

Certification is required; however, the model’s certification process occurs at the staff level, as opposed to the organizational or agency level (described under Pre-Service Staff Training).

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Pre-service staff training

Family Spirit requires home visitors and supervisors at a new affiliate to participate in a three- to four-day training that covers hands-on practice with the curriculum and strategies to facilitate implementing the model. Family Spirit also offers the training to other staff at the program site.

Family Spirit offers a training for new home visitors hired after the affiliate’s original three- to four-day training.

In addition to the topics described earlier, supervisors also receive training on the following:

  • Using the quality assurance form to monitor and support home visitors;
  • Networking to integrate Family Spirit within community resources;
  • Managing program implementation, including developing policies and procedures, and recruiting and supporting home visitors; and,
  • Developing supervisory and personnel management skills.

Before they can implement Family Spirit, the Family Spirit team at the Johns Hopkins University Center for American Indian Health must certify the home visitors and supervisors. Home visitors receive certification after (1) completing pre-training knowledge assessments with a score of 80 percent or greater for each curriculum lesson, (2) completing the three- to four-day training, and (3) scoring at least three of four possible points on the quality assurance measure designed to assess ability to administer curriculum lessons. No information is available on the supervisor certification requirements.

After home visitors have been certified and begun delivering the model, supervisors observe home visits at least quarterly and rate the home visitors based on a standardized quality assurance form. To maintain certification, a home visitor must receive at least three of four possible points on the form. If a home visitor receives a score lower than three, the supervisor develops an action plan and updates the Family Spirit national team on the home visitor’s progress. The national team and the affiliate supervisor decide if the home visitor must participate in refresher training and be recertified.

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In-service staff training

Family Spirit encourages, but does not require, affiliates to conduct frequent ongoing training for staff and supervisors in maternal and child health issues, home visiting strategies, case management, and other topics that are relevant to the program and participating families. Family Spirit provides a suggested list of additional trainings on its online affiliate portal.

The Family Spirit national office offers quarterly topical and technical assistance webinars for affiliates. Monthly supervisory and leadership training webinars are available.

Family Spirit also offers refresher training for home visitors who have previously achieved certification. No information is available about when a home visitor would participate in refresher training.

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Training materials

Each trainee receives a binder with all training materials, including presentations, hands-on activities, and evaluation tools to be covered in the three- to four-day pre-service training session.

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Qualified trainers

The Family Spirit team at the Johns Hopkins University Center for American Indian Health provides pre-service training.

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Technical assistance

The Family Spirit team at the Johns Hopkins University Center for American Indian Health provides technical assistance during required quarterly meetings and on an as-needed basis.

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Implementation notes

The information contained on this page was last updated in April 2020. Recommended further reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by the Family Spirit team at the Johns Hopkins University Center for American Indian Health on February 14, 2020. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.

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