On October 30, nearly 375 home visitation professionals gathered in Kearney for a full day of education. On this day, they would recharge for resilience, and learn to better care for the families in their charge . . . and for themselves.
“Self care is incredibly important to help these professionals stay at their peak,” said Mary Kate Gulick, member of the event planning team. “They give so much of themselves to the families they work with, who are often in emotionally challenging circumstances. It can be truly exhausting.”
The day before the event, attendees from the state’s 25 Sixpence Early Learning programs gathered to share experiences and best practices. After that, any overnight attendees were welcome at a networking reception.
Between educational sessions, attendees learned about relaxation techniques, including yoga and guided meditation. Led by Lincoln-based yoga instructor Katherine Brockman, home visitors were able to take time out to reflect on their own feelings and learn to recharge when their work takes too much out of them.
Throughout the day, attendees heard from national and regional experts on family dynamics, child abuse prevention, child development, domestic violence, motivational interviewing, reflective supervision and more.
Between sessions, attendees had the opportunity to mingle with resource providers who could make their jobs easier. Each attendee walked away with a bag full of books and resources to enhance what they learned during the day and help them become more effective home visitors.
The day ended with a powerful session on “compassion fatigue,” an emotional state that’s common among individuals in intensive direct service professions.
The Recharge for Resilience event was funded by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) division, with help from the Nebraska Department of Education and Nebraska Children and Families Foundation.