Cow Pic

Welcome to the Farm, Come See our COWs!

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

OK, so we haven’t actually started a farm here at the Mecklenburg County CDSA, but how funny would it be to see us try! In lieu of livestock, we have decided to take on bits and pieces of the information we’ve learned over the years around evidence-based best practices to figure out how to move that into our day-to-day interactions with families. We fondly refer to this as our Concept of the Week, or COW. I’ll be honest, it’s all I can do not to “moo” periodically when we discuss them, and I get closer and closer to falling out of my chair laughing every time someone asks if we’re going to have a COW this week. But, I digress. 🙂

In our department, we get together on a very regular basis to discuss our work, and we’re incorporating the COWs into those discussions so we can ask questions and learn from our peers. We wanted to give everyone an opportunity to use these COWs as they see fit, so we’ll be sharing short blog posts whenever we introduce a new COW, and you’ll find them in a new category on the site.

Here are the first three COWs that we’ve discussed – feel free to send them around, use them to spark discussions in your agencies or IFSP teams, or reach back out to us to ask questions or get feedback. As always, please comment and let us know what you think – we don’t hear enough from our valued readers, and we need to get some feedback to know if we’re touching on the things you want from us! Enough begging….here goes…..

  • You can tell. You can touch. You can model. You can be an expert. Coaching is not an intervention and not a model. It is an interaction style. It isn’t even that difficult! It’s about building good habits around how we communicate with families.
  • We get our “-tions” mixed up. Too much “direction.” Not enough “observation.” Not enough “questions.”
  • To Model or Not Model? That is the Question! We don’t want it to be our hands that helped a child walk for the first time, us holding the child when they finally eat, or our face that the child touches. We want that to be with the family, not us. We also need to know the adult’s learning style and base our decision on our relationship with the family.

So there you have it – keep an eye out for posts as we have more COWs coming out for us. Let us know how you decide to use these and how it goes when you do!


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