HealthySteps Specialist Competencies

June 12, 2023
ZERO TO THREE’s HealthySteps National Office developed this guide to clearly define key knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for responsive, culturally attuned clinical best practices specific to the HealthySteps Specialist role.
woman carrying baby in hallway with medical and office staff

HealthySteps transforms the promise of pediatric and family medicine by integrating a child development expert – a HealthySteps Specialist – into the pediatric primary care team. This expert partners with families to foster healthy child development and lifelong well-being; social-emotional development; language and literacy skills; cognition skills; and perceptual, motor, and physical development. This resource describes the dispositions, knowledge, and skills essential for an exemplary HealthySteps Specialist, to inform hiring and professional development. It can also be used to inform thinking around training for the behavioral health and infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) workforce, as many of the competencies outlined in the guide can help improve service delivery and workforce development outside of formal HealthySteps implementation.

The HealthySteps Specialist Competencies: (1) identify content areas for a HealthySteps Specialist’s optimal skill set; (2) identify discrete knowledge and skills for consideration in reflective supervision; and (3) provide a model for charting professional growth toward becoming a highly competent HealthySteps Specialist.

HealthySteps Specialist Competencies Objectives

  • Define the HealthySteps Specialist’s role as a part of the pediatric team.
  • Support the professional growth and development of the HealthySteps Specialist.
  • Contribute to the creation and implementation of robust HealthySteps programs in new and existing sites.
  • Increase families’ equitable access to high-quality care, caregiver guidance, family support services, and behavioral health support across all HealthySteps sites.
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