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How Do You Balance the Moos?

Written by Julie Higginbotham, Senior Case Coordinator, Mecklenburg County CDSA

Here we are with another fantastic COW, or Concept of the Week!  We’ve been talking a lot about joint planning and reflective questions, and hopefully you’ve had a chance to try it out with the families you serve.  There comes a time, though, when it feels like all we’re doing is asking questions, right?  Here’s the prompt we sent out to our staff here at the Mecklenburg County CDSA so we could have a chat about it this week in our team meeting.


I feel like I’m asking too many questions!

  • Yes/No questions are good for checking assumptions and asking questions.  If you feel like you are asking too many questions, they are probably yes/no or awareness level questions.

  • Ready to share information?

  1. Ask permission.

  2. Share the info.

  3. Ask, “What do you think about that?” or “How would that work for you?”


This helps look at the balance between questions and sharing information, and it covers the check-in questions to make sure that you’re on the right track with the family.  So, how’s it working for you?  Have you been working on using more reflective questions during your visits with families?  What are the advantages and challenges that you’ve come across?  Share it with us here – we want to help each other figure out how to put all of this together!

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2 Responses to How Do You Balance the Moos?

  1. Kim Hunter July 8, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

    We had some really good discussion in our team meeting today about this topic. We recognized that asking the parent/caregiver for their ideas before we share ours may not always yield ideas or strategies, but it serves another very important function: it acknowledges the parent as the “expert,” sends the message they are truly a team member (after all, it’s all about “teaming” with parents), shows that we value their ideas, and encourages them to share information/thoughts in other situations (one service coordinator reflected that a grandparent, who is quite reserved, consistently shared more informaiton about her concerns and the child’s challenges and progress with the provider who used reflective questioning than with the provider who did not seek her input before sharing her own ideas).

    • EI Excellence July 8, 2015 at 11:18 pm #

      Wow – what a great conversation! Thanks so much – it sounds like you all were really thoughtful and considered the importance of the parent in the whole process! 🙂

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