Iowa's Professional Development System for the Family Support Workforce
Leaders in Iowa have been working for many years to develop a system that will grow and support a highly skilled, competent, and sustainable workforce in all programs that provide family support services.
Iowa’s professional development system begins with competencies as the foundation and then adds a host of learning opportunities, assessments, and other supports to build the professional development ecosystem. The Iowa Department of Public Health provides important leadership; the states contractors “Quality Assist, Inc. and the University of Iowa National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice “ and other experts in the field of testingare essential partners in this work.
Specific aspects of the family support professional development ecosystem include:
- Twenty-nine core competencies in six areas for home visiting supervisors, related assessments, and a community of practice;
- Twenty-nine core competencies in four areas for family support workers, tiered by workers developmental level of proficiency and related assessments;
- Online competency assessments;
- Online learning modules aligned to the core competencies that are intimately intertwined with and complimentary to the competency assessment;
- An online learning management system that houses learning modules, assessments, and other resources for supervisors and family support workers;
- A workforce study;
- Scholarships to assist those seeking a college degree to create a parallel system for family support providers that matches the early childhood T.E.A.C.H. model;
- Endorsements of advanced training programs in related areas of study, such as child abuse prevention, domestic violence, alcohol and other drugs, and mental health.
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