Over the last few months, my family and I have been working our way through the Marvel Universe—the fictional world that brings together superheroes and super-teams around a common mission. Often, the Marvel movies show an arc where our heroes learn to trust one another and build on each other’s strengths. Home visiting seems to have a similar story.
For many years, the field of home visiting was siloed. Home visiting models had to compete for funding and recognition, and although they shared some goals for families, there weren’t many opportunities to unite around a common mission. The creation of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) and the National Home Visiting Summit began laying the foundation for increased partnership.
In 2018, a group of stakeholders launched the National Home Visiting Network (Network) to further cooperation within the field. The Network serves as a connector and a catalyst for collaboration across many centers of activity in the home visiting landscape and is guided by a set of four network principles:
- Mission, not organization
- Node, not hub
- Humility, not brand
- Trust, not control
Network participants have embarked on a journey to trust each other, build on individual strengths, and find ways to put these four principles into action. Recently, they developed a series of Network stories to share lessons learned (now available in the NHVRC Reference Catalog):
- Parent Leadership and Voice in Michigan: An Evolving Commitment That is Contingent on Trust and Humility
- The Power of Networks: How Network Principles Helped the Home Visiting Field Successfully Communicate Program Outcomes
- Shifting Behavior From a Model-Specific Orientation to a Cross-Model Collaboration: The Evolution of the National Alliance of Home Visiting Models
- MIECHV as Node Within a Constellation of Programs Needed to Achieve Health Equity
- Shifting Mindsets: How Understanding the Need for Parent Voice and Network Principles Shapes Perspective of a Social Science Research Analyst
- National Home Visiting Summit: A Place to Build and Grow Community
Home visiting benefits from a universe of everyday superheroes—the parents, home visitors, organizations, researchers, funders, and others who work together to support families. The lessons compiled by the Network offer opportunities for the field to grow and complete the critical mission of helping families thrive. And that’s a superhero movie I’m excited to watch!