Communities of Practice (CoP)
Family Home Visiting Communities of Practice (CoP) are groups of home visitors, supervisors and partners who come together with a shared challenge or passion for some component(s) of their work and learn from one another how to improve their practice/service delivery. CoP are not one time events and include many formats; conference calls or on-line communities. Although CoP may include a teacher or topic expert, all participants are seen as teachers and as learners. Staff who work with family home visiting programs share information on their individual and programmatic experiences. Supervisors are supported in becoming more effective coaches for their staff, as they build their program's competency through adoption of best-practice models and techniques.
Many home visitors and supervisors form their own CoP groups. These may be short or long term but are usually focused on a specific interest. If you would like more information or to participate in a Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Family Home Visiting (FHV) CoP, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
On-line CoP Resources
phConnect resources: The body of work for Communities of Practice from phConnect is stored online at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s webpage: Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Public Health Information Network. There, you can read about how to plan, build, sustain, and evaluate a community of practice, and access a resource kit with templates and other information.
Those agencies not currently using a model but who are investigating or moving toward long-term family home visiting, or adopting elements of evidence based family home visiting, may be interested in Information for Home Visitors and Supervisors and Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Public Health Information Network.