Policy Resource

Iowa's Professional Development System for the Family Support Workforce

Feb 9, 2016

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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