Mark Innocenti, director of the Research and Evaluation Division at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities, recently visited Australia as one of three keynote speakers at the Early Childhood International Australia conference.
Innocenti’s keynote topic was the importance of parenting on services for parents of children with disabilities. He also led a breakout session on the HOVR (Home Visiting Ratings) Scale and strategies for using it. HOVR is an observational measure of home visitors, published in 2008 in the back of a parenting book, Innocenti said. Interest in the tool has been increasing, and soon there will be a manual and a research article, he said.
The focus of the conference, Innocenti said, was for the most part, early childhood—serving kids and working with families.
“Australia is a bunch of states, and each varies in the way they provide services,” Innocenti said. “Queensland doesn’t do a lot of home visits, but in Victoria they do. They’re debating national disability insurance right now. Once passed, it would give parents more power over the flow of money for their children … not unlike here, where we give it to the school districts. Here, the program controls the money. There, it would be like national health care, except around disability.”
He also participated in a panel discussion and led a PICCOLO (Parenting Interactions with Children: Checklist of Observations Linked to Outcomes) workshop.