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Programs & Services

The Family Development and Self-Sufficiency (FaDSS) program was created during the 1988 Iowa General Assembly. HHS contracts with agencies statewide to provide FaDSS services in all of Iowa's 99 counties. Participation in FaDSS is voluntary. 

FaDSS Vision

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 healthy 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 and screenings that support healthy self-exploration
  • Science-informed goal pursuit 
  • A framework and process for skill building
  • Connecting families to stabilizing supports and opportunities in their communities

FaDSS Council