Which skillsets and other characteristics of a home visitor contribute to the effectiveness of a home-based child abuse and neglect prevention program?


Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Rosella Collins-Puoch


Keeping children safe and therefore preventing abuse and neglect has certainly always been a value of the Social Work profession. Home visitors, those charged with the duty of executing these programs, are visiting clients in their home over a period of time, offering support, resources, and nourishing the relationship between parent and child. To find the skill sets and characteristics which impact the success of these home visitors, this qualitative research study sought to identify characteristics and skill sets of home visitors which contribute to the effectiveness of a child abuse and neglect prevention program. Individual interviews were conducted with ten home visitors from the Metro Alliance of Healthy Families in the Twin Cities Metro of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Minnesota. The major themes which emerged from the data are: 1) specific characteristics home visitors identify such as empathetic and nonjudgmental; 2) past successes which stem from the formation of relationships built upon healthy boundaries; 3) the essential role a supervisor plays in the home visitor's ability to be effective. A discussion of the data as well as implications and recommendations for further research follows.


home-visiting, child abuse prevention, characteristics of home visitors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.