Iowa's communities are known for helping each other, but if we all work together, imagine all the great things we could do. HHS is here to act as a resource as communities grow and improve the ways they help their families.
When we support families in our communities, we:
- Understand the needs of those around us
- Build hope for the future
- Provide encouragement to make positive change
- See families have more good days
- Experience strengthened communities
Early Intervention and Support
The Iowa Family Support Network (IFSN) is a new website made possible by collaboration and coordination between the Early ACCESS early intervention service system and the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visitation (MIECHV) program. This single, coordinated website includes information and referral for Early ACCESS, IDEA Part C services, Children at Home, along with Family Support Services and Group Based Parenting Programs. The IFSN website contains a statewide Resource Directory, Statewide Events, National Resources, and Projects and Research related to early childhood including early intervention.
Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) is a statewide initiative housed within the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services that unites public and private agencies, organizations, and stakeholders under one common vision, “Every child, beginning at birth, will be healthy and successful.”
Home visiting program to support families from pregnancy to preschool.
Mental Health Consultation for infant and early childhood and the caregivers. The Iowa Department of Public Health is currently implementing a five-year federal grant called Project LAUNCH. The purpose of this initiative is to support young children’s healthy mental development by focusing on strategies that foster safe, stable and nurturing relationships and positive experiences for children, newborn through age eight.
Purpose of Grant:
- Build capacities of adult caregivers of young children to promote healthy social and emotional development
- Prevent mental, emotional and behavioral disorders
- Identify and address behavioral concerns before they develop into serious emotional disturbances (SED)
- Screening and assessment to ensure early identification of behavioral and developmental concerns using validated screening instruments – must include screening for other concerns such as perinatal depression and caregiver substance misuse as appropriate
- Provide family and parent training to help parents/caregivers provide healthy, safe and secure environments
- Integrate behavioral health into primary care
- Provide mental health consultation in early care and education
- Establish a Young Child Wellness Council to support the project (at least 10% must be families with children birth – 8)
- Improve coordination and collaboration across child and family-serving systems and programs
- Raise public awareness and education related to early childhood development and mental health
The first step to preventing SIDS and other sleep-related deaths is to understand and utilize the most up-to-date, evidence-based recommendations for safe infant sleep.
Visit the Safe Infant Sleep page for more information.
The purpose of the Iowa Child Abuse Prevention Program (ICAPP) is to prevent child maltreatment before it occurs. The program includes a single contract with a statewide non-profit organization to provide Administrative Support Services to HHS, as outlined in Iowa Code (235A.1). The program also includes multiple local service contracts throughout the state through grants to Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Councils.
Iowa's early intervention system is called Early ACCESS. Early ACCESS works with families to identify child and family needs and coordinate services to meet those needs. Early intervention can make a difference. If you are interested in early intervention, refer to the Iowa Family Support Network.