What is Coaching?

Coaching is a constructive, empathic, respectful, and positive interaction between a home visitor and an experienced and skilled coach.  This interaction supports the skill building and competencies of the home visitor to work more effectively with families

The goals of coaching are to build performance self-efficacy, create an action plan, and review  future performance at subsequent visits. Coaching consists of:

  • discussions around strengths and challenges
  • reviews of home visitor interactions with caregivers
  • performance-based feedback.

For an abbreviated outline of what a coaching session might look like, please refer to this document.

Coach will use and demonstrate the same motivational communication skills in the coaching that home visitors are to use with caregivers and families.

Benefits of Coaching

  • Increases goal attainment and reduces stress 
  • Practice increases home visiting skills
  • Practice predicts stronger family outcomes 
  • Enhances psychological well-being
  • Increases resilience

Who can do Coaching?

  • Someone who has the skills and can teach them
  • Someone who has the patience to work with beginners and shape behaviors
  • Someone who is encouraging and also able to point out deficiencies gently and offer suggestions to modify behaviors


Key Coaching Skills
  • Building trusting relationships
  • Monitoring how home visitors work with caregivers
  • Offer feedback using Elicit-Provide-Elicit (see Tools: Communications Skills)
  • Identify problematic performance and the skills that need to be developed/refined
  • Practice the skills with the home visitor
  • Apply skills (set goals for using skills with clients)
  • Debrief the outcome and plan next steps
Coaches will coach Home Visitors to:
  • Build Core Communication and Negotiation skills
  • Facilitate Caregiver Decisional Considerations
  • Manage Ambivalence
  • Build a decisional balance that supports change
  • Develop…
    • a “good” goal (finding a destination)
    • a reasonable plan
    • support putting the plan into action
    • checking on how it is working
    • revising goal when necessary

Supervision vs. Coaching


  • Program monitoring
  • Management of employees
  • Quality control
  • Capacity building for staff
  • There are different types of supervision depending on:
    • Format (Individual, Group, Telephone, Skype)
    • Administrative
    • Curriculum/Problem Solving
    • Reflective


  • Focused on skills development 
  • Identifying weaknesses
  • Action Plan
  • Using motivational communication to explore interactions
  • Goals include 
    • Enhancing GPS skills
    • Reducing negative interactions
    • Better able to use motivational spirit & strategies
    • Effective information sharing
    • Collaboration with caregiver