Setting and Achieving Goals Toward Self-Sufficiency

The Family Development and Self Sufficiency (FaDSS) program promotes, empowers and nurtures families toward economic and emotional self-sufficiency. Participating families will set goals to:

  • Improve employment and job skills
  • Improve budgeting skills
  • Improve the safety of you and your children
  • Access community activities and resources
  • Continue your education
  • Improve or maintain good health


counselor ames

FaDSS is a state-wide program funded by a grant through the Iowa Department of Human Rights through a contract with the Department of Human Services. The program’s mission is to improve the lives of families at risk of long-term welfare dependency or family instability by creating opportunities for self-sufficiency.

Core Services

Core services of the FaDSS program include:

  • Home visits: The foundation of the FaDSS program, monthly home visits with a Family Development Specialist continue until the family requests them to end, or until six months after the family is no longer receiving cash assistance from the Family Investment Program (FIP).
  • Assessments: Tools are used to assist the family in identifying strengths that can be utilized to eliminate barriers to self-sufficiency.
  • Goal setting: Directed by the family with guidance from the Family Development Specialist, the family develops long-term and short-term goals that will lead to the achievement of economic and emotional self-sufficiency.
  • Support: Family Development Specialists provide ongoing, strength-based and solution focused support, including referrals, group activities, linking families to communities and advocacy.
  • Referrals: Families are referred to community resources to meet their needs, such as education, employment and counseling.
  • Advocacy: Initially performed by the Family Development Specialist, families become empowered to advocate to ensure that systems and services are equitable, inclusive and responsive.


The FaDSS program is voluntary and is available to families headed by an individual who is receiving Family Investment Program (FIP) benefits.  Head of household must be 25 or younger in Boone, Story and Marshall counties. All ages are eligible in Greene, Guthrie, Carroll, Sac, Audubon and Calhoun counties.

Referrals to FaDSS are made through the Department of Human Services, PROMISE JOBS program, other third party sources and self-referrals.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the FaDSS program, please contact:
Peggy Ragner, Family Program Manager

Serving Audubon, Boone, Calhoun, Carroll, Dallas,  Greene, Guthrie, Marshall, Sac and Story Counties.

Reach out today!

Please feel free to contact us with questions or for more information. If your request is urgent in nature, we request you contact us by phone at 515.233.3141.