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Iowa Family Support Response and Resources for COVID-19

IDPH Novel Coronavirus Website: https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus

Home Visiting Peer Sharing Resource Page for Teleconferencing 3/23/20

ACF and HRSA joint letter “encourage(s) family support, maternal and child health, and early childhood programs (including Head Start, home visiting, early intervention, and other early care and learning programs) to promote family strengthening and prevention strategies via virtual, electronic, telephonic, or other safe means during the COVID-19 pandemic.” https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ecd/dear_colleague_letter_acf_mchb_covid_19_ada.pdf

Iowa Family Support Network

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. 

Iowa Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visitation (MIECHV) Program

2019 MIECHV Benchmarks

National MIECHV

Iowa Home Visiting Evaluations

Iowa Workforce Study

The Workforce Study is a summary of key findings from a statewide survey of Iowa’s family support program employees, sponsored by the Iowa Department of Public Health and conducted by the National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice at the University of Iowa. The purpose of the survey is to better understand the family support workforce and the organizational contexts within which family support services are provided with a goal of strengthening the workforce and improving the quality of family support services. The survey is part of a larger research effort to measure changes in the family support workforce and assess the relationship between workforce experiences and family support outcomes.

Phones For Families 

The impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic have been vast, with families who are already more vulnerable due to low-income or family risk status disproportionately impacted by loss of income, mental health inequality, higher exposure to health risks, and higher rates of COVID-19 infection and death. In addition to the health and economic risks, requirements for social isolation to curb COVID-19 transmission created substantial barriers to the provision of family support services. In response to these outcomes, the Iowa Department of Public Health, with support from the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, implemented the Phones for Families program to try to help address social isolation and continue provision of services virtually by providing loaner smartphones to families during the pandemic.

Supports and Resources for Family Support Professionals

Institute for the Advancement of Family Support Professionals

The Institute offers Family Support Professionals everywhere the opportunity to learn new skills and grow their careers. Through engaging, online modules and a personalized learning map feature, professionals take charge of their growth and advancement. The Institute was developed through a Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Innovation Award by building upon previous work of IDPH, Virginia Department of Health, James Madison University and the University of Kansas to enhance professional development across the field. For up to date information, please visit http://institutefsp.org/

Welcome To DAISEY!

DAISEY, which stands for Data Application and Integration Solutions for the Early Years, is s shared measurement system designed to help communities see the difference they make in the lives of at-risk children, youth and families. Family support professionals will utilize DAISEY to enter required demographic, quarterly report, and assessment data on the families they serve. Family support programs can then access their aggregated data through interactive intelligence reports that are built into DAISEY. 

DAISEY Iowa Family Support website is your one-stop shop for all things DASIEY! Any new supervisor or staff member should familiarize themselves with this website and its resources. Please visit this website in order to add new staff members to DASIEY, access training materials, sign up for trainings and webinars, and learn more about data entry through the data dictionary and program instructions.

Continuous Quality Improvement and Training 

Performance and Education Yield Success (PAEYS)

PAEYS stands for Performance and Education Yield Success and is a project that provides education-based salary supplements to the family support workforce employed by a MIECHV or HOPES HFI-funded site in Iowa. The project is designed to increase employee retention, education, performance and compensation.

Family Support Teacher Education and Compensation Helps (T.E.A.C.H.) 

T.E.A.C.H. and the Iowa Department of Public Health are a public-private partnership that implements a scholarship program for family support professionals. T.E.A.C.H. will provide comprehensive scholarships to family support professionals who are willing to obtain college credits toward a higher education degree, relevant to their work in family support.

Additional Programs and Resources

Iowa Family Support Impact 

More than 650 family support professionals reach over 12,000 families and 14,000 children across Iowa. Our voluntary programs work with parents who invest their time to strengthen and nourish their family. Family support workers advocate, assist in enhancing parenting skills, and help caregivers find someone they can depend on. Three key areas of focus are: Maternal and Child Health, School Readiness, and Strong Families. Visit http://iowafamilysupportimpact.org/ for more information.

Lemonade for Life

Lemonade for Life was developed as a companion tool for caring professionals using the ACEs questionnaire. The Lemonade for Life program gives caring professionals practical tools to initiate and process ACEs with clients sensitively. We believe that the intentional application of the ACEs tool can be used to identify points of resilience and build hope for families healing from past trauma. In the training, parenting resources are introduced that guide families to work toward safe, secure and nurturing relationships. The end goal of the program is to prevent exposure to ACEs in the next generation, ending the cycle of abuse and trauma that is all too common.

Parentivity

Parentivity, an IDPH initiative, is a web-based community that provides “just right” information when parents need it most. Understanding there are no one-size-fits-all solutions to parenting, we offer personalized content proven to reduce family risks and optimize parenting resourcefulness, family resilience, child growth, and school readiness. Parentivity – a place to ask, learn, and share! Find out more at parentivity.org.

Iowa Family Support Credentialing Program

Accreditation can be a costly process for family support programs, but it’s an important step in proving your commitment to high quality and best practice. To help programs get there, Iowa created a credentialing process called the Iowa Family Support Credential program. To achieve credentialing, programs utilize the Iowa Family Support Technical Assistance Network (IFSTAN). Coordinated by Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI) in partnership with Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), IFSTAN links participating programs with technical assistance for guidance through the credentialing process.  Find out more at http://lsiowa.org/ifstan/

HOPES (Healthy Opportunities for Parents to Experience Success)