"The environments we create and the 

experiences we provide for young children 

and their families affect not just the 

developing brain, but also many other 

physiological systems" 

-Center for Developing Child 


In the home visiting field, we are often entering a family’s home or interacting in a community setting. It is often out of our control to adjust that physical space. However, an environment is more than just its physical space. The environment includes the interactions we have in that space, the emotional climate, the non-verbal communication, and the individuals that are invited into it. These aspects, particularly how we enter a space and engage with it, fall within our control and can have a substantial impact on the relationships we build. Our way of being in a space also impacts the stress levels of those within it, which has consequences for the caregivers and infants we are caring for.  

In our work, it is crucial to build positive experiences which support the environment. There are many ways for this to occur, but all of them start with the respect we hold for our families. When you enter a space, ask yourself: Have I considered the backgrounds, preferences, cultural perspectives, and previous experiences within this space? Respect requires us to engage first from a place of humility and curiosity. Respect comes from listening to understand and being attuned to the needs of our clients. We must establish a relationship that allows them to feel safe with us. It is only when our clients and families feel relationally safe that learning takes place.  


6R- Respectful environment  



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