Contact info : 800-999-5191,

MISSION: Improve the lives of families at risk of long-term welfare dependency or family instability by creating opportunities for self-sufficiency.


Residents of Audubon, Calhoun, Carroll, Greene, Guthrie and Sac counties in Iowa who are on public assistance through the Iowa Family Investment Program (FIP) and want to become self-sufficient.


The primary goals may include:

  • Improved Parenting Skills
  • Continuing Education
  • Seeking a job outside the home
  • Creating Healthy Lifestyles

Many families who are receiving services have reached this point because of multiple barriers and issues such as:

  • Being a victim of domestic violence (in their family of origin and/or adult relationships)
  • Having themselves been a past abuser or neglector
  • Having been a childhood victim of abuse and/or neglect
  • Having reached adulthood without a high school diploma or GED
  • Having been a substance abuser
  • Having been a child with special needs that were not met
  • Having survived sexual abuse as a child and/or as an adult
  • Having been incarcerated

HISTORY OF THE FaDSS Program (from the Iowa FaDSS website):

The Family Development and Self-Sufficiency (FaDSS) Grant Program was created during the 1988 Iowa General Assembly. The General Assembly created the FaDSS Council within the Department of Human Services to study, fund, and evaluate programs, which provide development services to families who are at risk of long-term welfare dependency. FaDSS is a supportive service to assist Family Investment Program (FIP) families with significant or multiple barriers reach self-sufficiency. The Department of Human Services contracts with the Department of Human Rights, Division of Community Action Agencies to administer the FaDSS Grant Program. The Department of Human Rights subcontracts with seventeen grantees statewide to provide FaDSS services.

Referral to FaDSS is made through the Department of Human Services, PROMISE JOBS Program, other third-party sources, and self-referrals. Participation in FaDSS is a voluntary option for people receiving Family Investment Program (FIP) benefits. FaDSS provides services that promote, empower, and nurture families towards economic and emotional self-sufficiency. The foundation of FaDSS is regular home visits with families, using a strength-based approach. Core services include support, goal setting, and assessment. Support is given in many ways such as referrals, group activities, linking families to communities and advocacy.

Assessment aids the family to identify strengths that they possess that may be used to eliminate barriers to self-sufficiency. Goal setting helps families break down goals that seem out of reach into small steps that will lead to success.