Center hosts training to improve quality of interpreted home visits

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

LAWRENCE — The Center for Public Partnerships & Research (CPPR) at the University of Kansas recently hosted a daylong training workshop for home visitors and the interpreters who assist them in serving families who speak a language other than English. The workshop was a collaborative effort between CPPR’s Interpreter Training program and Project LAUNCH, and it served professionals in several Kansas City-area programs and service agencies.

Twenty-six participants from the Kansas City area attended the event, which was March 30 at the Children’s Campus in Kansas City, Kansas. They included interpreters who spoke more than five languages (Spanish, Nepali, Amharic, Swahili and Vietnamese), dual-role interpreter/home visitors and home visitors from Project EAGLE (Early Head Start), the Kansas Children’s Service League, the Wyandotte County Public Health Department (Healthy Families America) and Kansas City Kansas Public Schools (Parents as Teachers). CPPR is developing materials for future workshops that will assist home-visiting and other community programs to provide services that are culturally responsive and appropriate to the diverse populations they serve. 

“Home visitors are trained, family-support professionals who provide new or expecting parents with resources to improve health and developmental outcomes for at-risk children through evidence-based, voluntary home visiting programs,” said Betsy Thompson, CPPR Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting project coordinator. “The training aimed to increase the quality of interpreted home visits and improve family outcomes by providing a better understanding of roles and expectations of both home visitors and interpreters.”

The training covers best practices when utilizing an interpreter, working collaboratively to communicate with families and consideration of cultural issues affecting service delivery. As one participant wrote in the post-workshop evaluation, “Thank you for the effort to put providers and interpreters on the same page. I think this provided a great base to build more training and discussion on the service provider and interpreter relationship.”

Adam Brazil, CPPR Interpreter Training project coordinator, said the workshop was yet another example of CPPR efforts to build better support systems that helps improve the lives of Kansas children and families. More workshops are being scheduled for both spring and fall 2015.

“This kind of outreach serves needs created by the growing diversity of Kansas children and families,” Brazil said. “That increased diversity has resulted in some cultural gaps between service agencies and the families they serve. We aim to address and bridge these gaps through these kinds of collaborative trainings.”

More about CPPR
One of the KU Achievement & Assessment Institute’s four research centers, the Center for Public Partnerships & Research assists partners with addressing complex social issues through research and evaluation, systems development, professional development, technical assistance and performance management systems. CPPR currently has more than 50 grants in the areas of early childhood, child welfare, child-abuse prevention, K-12 education and at-risk families. CPPR staff members have extensive experience working collaboratively with state, federal, and community-based organizations to drive research, build capacity, and make big changes possible. Strong partnerships with the Kansas Children's Cabinet & Trust Fund, Kansas Department of Health & Environment, Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Health Foundation result in innovations, positive change, and support for at-risk children, youth and families across the state.

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