Credential process for family support programs

Two LCECI funded programs shared their current experience with the Iowa Family Support Credential Program at the April 23 LCECI Board meeting.

• Parent Education Consortium- group based parenting classes
• Linn County Home Health- short-term in-home parenting support program

The credentialing process includes quality improvement and outside evaluation perspective. The Credential is awarded to family support programs that complete the peer review process and are found to be in substantial adherence with all of the Iowa Family Support Standards.

Accreditation can be a costly process for family support programs, but it’s an important step in proving their commitment to high quality and best practice. As Iowa focuses on efficiency in human services, funders will favor support for credentialed programs.

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.

By earning the Iowa Family Support Credential (IFSC), your program receives public acknowledgement that you meet the Iowa Family Support Standards

Implications to Linn County ECI Board
Per Iowa Home Visitation legislation enacted July 1, 2012: Board must spend at least the specified % of ECI family support/parent ed funds on programs that are evidence based or Promising Practice
By July 1, 2013: 25% (Horizons, TIES and in process: PEC and Linn County Home Health)
By July 1, 2014: 50%
By July 1, 2015: 75%
By July 1, 2016: 90%

For more information on Iowa Family Support Credential go to

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