Family support programs, also known as home visiting programs, share information and advocate for families. Family support programs often coach parents with understanding child development milestones, developing problem solving skills, and strengthening family relationships.

These programs take place in the family’s home. This avoids complications for parents having to drive somewhere with their children, and makes the activities “real world” because they are practiced right in the home, where the family normally interacts.

Family support programs work toward safe, healthy families. Programs are evaluated and have shown to improve birth outcomes, increase parental confidence, encourage family economic success, strengthen the home learning environment, and build community support.

Eligibility for family support programs vary, and many are free of charge. Local programs include Dallas County Public Health’s Maternal Child Health program, and Head Start, Parents as Teachers, Lutheran Services in Iowa’s New Parents program and AEA’s Early Access program.

One Dallas County mom stated, “You have helped me a lot and I am very grateful. I’m super glad that I am in the program.”

If you are pregnant or parenting, and would appreciate extra support and guidance, please call Health Navigation at 515-993-3750 for information on Iowa Family Support Network programs.