Both of Isabel’s parents are present for the visit, which offers you a golden opportunity to talk with them. When you ask how things are going with Isabel’s signing, her mother replies, “Well, she’d be learning if her father didn’t just do everything for her. Isabel doesn’t even have to sign at all.” These two sentences set…

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As a guest in Amelia’s family’s home, you do your best to be polite and respectful. You enjoy working with her grandparents, and feel that they are doing their best to encourage Amelia’s development. The only challenge you have is the fact that they smoke during the visit. You’re concerned about the fact that you leave…

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You arrive at the family’s home and knock on the door. After several minutes, the door slowly opens and you look down to see a preschooler’s face. You ask her, “Is your mommy here?” She answers, “She’s asleep.” You ask, “Is there another grown-up here with you?” and she shakes her head “no.” You look…

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With 3 minutes left to the visit, Mikaela’s mother, Delia, asks “Can you stay a few extra minutes today?” She says she really needs your advice. Yesterday, the child care center director called because Mikaela bit another child. They threatened to expel Mikaela and Delia isn’t sure what to do. You pause because you know that your next…

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This really happened to me: Before heading out the door, I received a call from a mother whom I’d be seeing in about an hour. She asked if I could stop by the grocery store to pick up milk and diapers. She had no transportation and lived deep in the woods in a very rural…

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You’re sitting in your car between visits and your phone beeps. You check your email and find a Facebook friend request from Hakeem’s mother. You know that he’s often in and out of the hospital and she keeps her friends and family up-to-date about his health using her Facebook page. She mentioned it to you…

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After knocking three times, you hear someone inside the apartment. You wait a bit, trying to decide whether to knock again. Jessa’s mother hollers that’s she’s coming, then a few seconds later she opens the door. She’s tells you to come on in but you hesitate. Jessa’s mother is wearing a see-through nightie and nothing else.…

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During the assessment, the professional team members notice some soft neurological signs in Seiko’s development, such as an indwelling thumb, slight scissoring of her legs, and low muscle tone in her trunk. Seiko was referred to early intervention by her pediatrician because she is 14 months old and not yet sitting or crawling. According to her…

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We’ve written about professional boundaries several times from the perspective of how to maintain your own boundaries when working so closely with families. Here’s a twist…how do you manage boundary issues when you see them happening between a colleague and a family? Let’s consider an example. The Babysitter Alexis has been working with Enzi’s family for…

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Do you know what that means? When you are a mandated reporter, that means that you are in a profession that is among those mandated to report suspected child abuse or neglect. It is an aspect of your job that, hopefully, you don’t have to think about very often. Reporting suspected child abuse or neglect…

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