Engaging Parents in Early Head Start Home-Based Programs: How Do Home Visitors Do This?




Caroline Shanti

Brief Type

Journal publication


  • Early Head Start Home-Based Option


Parental engagement is considered elemental to successful outcomes for parents and their children in early childhood home visiting programs. Engagement is that piece of parental involvement that refers to the working relationship between the parent and the home visitor. Multiple papers have called for research to pinpoint the ways in which home visitors work with parents to form these working relationships, and form partnerships to achieve positive outcomes. Analysis revealed that in individualizing their efforts to each family, home visitors follow semi-sequential steps in implementing engagement. This article presents a model of the process home visitors describe that resulted from analysis. Grounded theory techniques were used to analyze 29 interviews with Early Head Start (EHS) home visitors and 11 supervisors across four EHS programs in one region of the United States. The process of engagement as described emerges in three phases: (1) learning the parent's culture and style; (2) deepening the working partnership; and (3) balancing the ongoing work. Analysis further revealed specific strategies and goals that guide the work of home visitors in each of these three phases. This not only adds rich detail to the literature, but also provides a useful guide for programs and policy makers through identifying the areas where training and support will increase home visitor ability to engage parents. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Interviews



For More Information

Shanti, C. (2017). Engaging parents in Early Head Start home-based programs: How do home visitors do this? Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, 14(5), 311–328. http://doi.org/10.1080/23761407.2017.1302858
Author Contact Information:
Caroline Shanti


  • Participant Recruitment, Retention, Engagement, and Dosage