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About FaDSS

The Family Development and Self-Sufficiency (FaDSS) program was created during the 1988 Iowa General Assembly. The Department of Health and Human Services contracts with the Department of Human Rights, Division of Community Action Agencies to administer the FaDSS program. The Department of Human Rights subcontracts with fifteen agencies statewide to provide FaDSS services in all of Iowa's 99 counties. Referral to FaDSS can be made through the Department of Health and Human Services, the PROMISE JOBS Program, other third-party sources, and self-referrals. Participation in FaDSS is voluntary.

FaDSS Vision Statement:

FaDSS engages families in dynamic partnerships to address their basic needs, improve child well-being, and develop career opportunities that, in turn, improves lives, families, and communities. 

We do this by:

  1. Reducing sources of stress that destabilize families. We address the basic needs and emotional wellbeing of families through support and connection to resources such as housing, food, safety, and physical and mental conditions, among others.   

  2. Strengthening core skills that are essential for work, school, and life. We build the capabilities of families by teaching them goal-directed behaviors that strengthen life skills and improve family functioning and by connecting them to education and training opportunities that build career-related skills and heathy work and school-based habits.  

  3. Creating responsive relationships that are safe and supportive. We cultivate partnerships with families by building trust; holding parents accountable; and practicing unconditional, nonjudgmental positive regard. We collaborate with community partners to address the needs and interests of families. We support healthy parent-child relationships that promote child wellness and development.

Core Program Components:

  • Structured home visits conducted by skilled family development specialists

  • Assessments that support healthy self-exploration

  • Science-informed goal pursuit designed to build core skills

  • A framework and process for career development

  • Connecting families to stabilizing supports and career opportunities in the community.

FaDSS Evaluation Framework - 2014
FaDSS Research Compendium - 2014
2020 FaDSS Implementation Findings from the Evaluation of Employment Coaching

Visit our area visit Where to Apply locate the county you are interested in.

For more information regarding the FaDSS program or questions about the website please call 515-281-5938 or email Page Humphrey or Elizabeth Patten.