Compassionate Care Within Early Intervention Caregiver Coaching: "they Won't Care What You Know until They Know That You Care"

Sophia R. D'Agostino, Sarah N. Douglas, Hedda Meadan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The practice of coaching caregivers requires early intervention (EI) providers to build relationships using compassionate care while implementing coaching practices to increase outcomes for caregivers and children. Coaching with compassion is highly valued and studied within other disciplines, yet investigations focused on interpersonal skills within the field of EI are just emerging. With the rise of families enrolled in Part C programs along with the increasing emphasis of caregiver coaching, it is critical to explore the approach of coaching with compassion. The aim of this study was to examine EI providers' perceptions and reported use of compassionate care competencies within caregiver coaching. We report findings from an online questionnaire that contained closed and open-ended questions. The results of this study indicate that most compassionate care competencies were ranked highly whereas some were not implemented as often and EI providers reported less confidence in using them. Early intervention providers also identified benefits and challenges to implementation. In addition, EI providers noted the importance of integrating compassionate care competencies into the practice of caregiver coaching. Results provide critical insights related to including compassionate care competencies into preparation for EI providers. Training recommendations and resources for EI providers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-163
Number of pages17
JournalInfants and Young Children
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023


  • caregiver coaching
  • coaching practices
  • compassionate care
  • early intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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