Infant Family Associate’s informally (and in some cases, formally) observes and assesses the infant or very young child, parent, and their relationship to identify landmarks of typical child development; behavior; and healthy, secure relationships. They support and reinforces parent’s ability to seek appropriate care during pregnancy, reinforces parent’s strengths, emerging parenting competencies, and positive parent-infant/very young child interactions. Infant Family Associate’s demonstrate awareness of conditions that optimize early infant brain development. Also, recognizes conditions that require the assistance of other service providers and refers these situations to the supervisor. They are able to share an understanding of infant and family relationship development with the families. Infant Family Associates applies an understanding of cultural competence to communicate effectively, establish positive relationships with families, and demonstrate respect for the uniqueness of each family’s culture.
Infant Family Associates have skills in building and maintaining effective interpersonal relationships with families and professional colleagues. This is practiced by respecting and promoting the decision-making authority of families understanding and respecting the beliefs and practices of the family’s culture. They follow the parents’ lead through consistently on commitments and promises providing regular communications and updates. They are able to work with and responds to families and colleagues in a tactful and understanding manner. Another skill set is to collaborate and share information with other service providers and agencies to ensure the safety of the infant/young child and effective, coordinated services, and promote awareness of relationship-focused approaches to working with children. It is imperative to work constructively to find “win-win” solutions to conflicts with colleagues (e.g., interagency, peer-peer, and/or supervisor-supervisee conflicts).