RD351 - Early Impact Virginia 2022 Annual Report
The last two pandemic years offered unique learning and growth opportunities for Virginia’s home visiting field. Not only were providers able to effectively employ new approaches to service delivery through virtual home visiting, but Early Impact Virginia was able to live into our mission in new, substantially different ways. Over the last year, EIV has realized a number of long standing projects while simultaneously adjusting strategy and timeline to address the emerging needs of the field.
In spite of the enormous pandemic impact, the last year created fertile ground for meaningful growth and stabilization among the home visiting community. Crisis events often provide the opportunity to focus on those things that are most critical to success. For Virginia’s home visiting field that meant maintaining a laser sharp focus on meeting family needs, connecting families with emergency supplies and community resources, and always being present for those families experiencing high levels of anxiety and stress that come with parenting during such turbulent times. And, for Early Impact Virginia, it meant leaning into our charge by creating the best conditions for home visitors to do their work.
While the first year of the pandemic was characterized by the development of resources to support shifting service approaches and family needs, the second was all about optimizing the use of these new supports and addressing the needs of a rapidly changing workforce. While the home visiting workforce did not immediately see high rates of turnover, this last year presented a very different picture as twenty percent of the workforce transitioned out of the field. These transitions reflect a number of issues that Virginia leaders continue to work to address, including ensuring that all staff earn a living wage, eliminating administrative requirements that do not add value to service delivery and supporting staff to navigate what can be highly stressful and emotionally draining work.
Early Impact Virginia remains committed to working together with partners to address these pressing issues in both the short and long term. EIV and the Alliance have worked diligently to develop strategic approaches to addressing systemic issues. The next year will provide the opportunity to move from concept to implementation. Key activities to address system wide challenges include:
Workforce Recruitment and Retention:
Addressing workforce and service delivery challenges requires significant investment of time and resources across the entire system, from supporting local recruitment efforts to building lucrative pathways into the field through higher salaries and meaningful opportunities for professional growth and career advancement.
Early Impact Virginia is proud to share that in the next year we are redoubling our efforts to diversify and strengthen the home visiting workforce with a new project, Building Equitable Career Pathways into Home Visiting (learn more, page 15).
Throughout the course of the pandemic, one recurrent request expressed by home visiting staff has been the need for additional supports for staff well-being, self-care and reflective practice. Virginia training and supports for home visitors is quite robust, but professional support for supervisors has yet to be fully developed or implemented. As we know, a supervisor’s ability to effectively support staff during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the greatest predictor of staff satisfaction, effectiveness and retention. As the linchpin for staff retention and effective service delivery, it is imperative that supervisor well-being is prioritized, supported and nurtured. Learn more about the full range of Supervisor Supports, from beginner to advanced, developed by the field for the field (page 16).
Streamlining Administrative Requirements:
The Early Impact Virginia Alliance has very intentionally prioritized the need to streamline expectations and requirements for local providers. As a part of the Home Visiting Strategic Plan, the Alliance will work together with funders and key public stakeholders to re-imagine accountability measures to fully demonstrate the impact of home visiting while effectively reflecting the work being done together with families. Learn more about the EIV Data Warehouse designed to eliminate duplicate data entry processes (page 12).