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FaDSS - A Measure of Success, 25 years and Counting


History of the Family Development and Self-Sufficiency (FaDSS) Program

  • During its 1988 legislative session, the Iowa General Assembly established a Family Development and Self-Sufficiency (FaDSS) Council to study, fund and evaluate programs which provide developmental services to families who are at risk of long-term welfare dependency. The FaDSS Council allocates funds to grantees across the state. Each FaDSS grantee is given flexibility in designing programs that best respond to the unique needs of its community. Initially, seven three-year demonstration grants were awarded, with program services beginning in early 1989. In 1990, FaDSS became a support service of the PROMISE JOBS program and, by 1993, FaDSS was an ongoing Iowa program. In Fiscal Year 2000 the FaDSS program was available in all of Iowa's 99 counties.
  • MISSION: Improve the lives of families at risk of long-term welfare dependency or family instability by creating opportunities for self-sufficiency.

                       What is FaDSS? 


FaDSS (Family Development and Self-Sufficiency) is a statewide voluntary home visitation program.  FaDSS is funded by a grant through the Iowa Department of Human Rights.  FaDSS is a voluntary program for participants of the Family Investment Program (FIP) and who are working with PROMISE JOBS.   Participants are referred to FaDSS from PROMISE JOBS, DHS, Self Referral, and other community partners.

Each family is assigned a Family Development Specialist who is Certified by the University of Iowa, National Family Resource Center For Family Centered Practice.  The Specialist uses a strength-based approach with the family in the home setting on some of the following: Family Goal Setting, Evaluation of Family Strengths through Assessment, Budgeting, Accessing Community Resources.


Click here to Meet the NICAO's FaDSS Staff


The foundation of FaDSS is regular home visits with families.  Using a strength-based approach, FaDSS provides such core services as family support and goal setting.  Family assessments identify strengths that each family possess that they may use to eliminate barriers to self-sufficiency.  Goal setting helps families break down goals that seem out of reach into small steps that lead to success.  Family support is provided through referrals, linking families to community supports and advocacy.  Participation in FaDSS is a voluntary option for people receiving Family Investment Program benefits.



FaDSS Day on the Hill Photos