About the Iowa Family Support Credential


First Step: The program submits an application and supporting materials to participate to the IFSTAN coordinator. Applications can be found online or acquired by emailing ifstanprogram@lsiowa.org.

Second Step: Once the program is accepted into the process, they will be assigned a program specialist. In the event that an assignment cannot be made, the program may be placed on a waiting list and notified of placement on the list. Programs will be removed and assigned to a program specialist in the order of placement. The program specialist will help the program initially self-evaluate in relation to the family support standards using the Self-Evaluation and Quality Improvement Plan (SEQIP) within three months of the first face-to-face meeting. The program, with the support of the program specialist, will then be responsible for developing and implementing a quality improvement plan to address any standards that are not met. The program specialist will also provide technical assistance to the program to assist in meeting the standards. Together, the program specialist and the program will identify any training needs the program may have. The program specialist’s role will vary in intensity; however, the goal will be two face to face visits per year, based upon the program specialist and program’s discretion.

Third Step: The program has up to three years with a potential one year extension of signing the Memorandum of Understanding to request peer review. The program and the program specialist will inform the IFSTAN coordinator that the program is ready for the peer review portion of credentialing. This is communicated via the Peer Review Request Form filled out by the program specialist and program. This form is emailed along with a letter of recommendation by the program specialist. The program will then be ready to submit the SelfAssessment and Supporting Materials (SAM) and “Box” for each peer reviewer. The lead peer reviewer will request the SAM and “Box” from the program.

The program is now ready for the onsite portion of the peer review. A letter will go to the program and peer reviewers who were assigned.


Fourth Step: The onsite review varies from two to five days, depending on the specific agency’s circumstances. The peer review consists of interviews, observations of home visits and / or groups, and document reviews. The onsite review concludes with an oral exit report that outlines the Strengths and Opportunities for Growth of the program and organization.

Fifth Step: The lead peer reviewer submits the Peer Review Report to the IFSTAN coordinator* within two weeks of the conclusion of the site visit. The written report contains ratings for each standard. Ratings of three or four require the peer review team to provide written rational for each first and second order standard. If the report contains 20% or more standards out of adherence, the program will be placed on probationary status and will be required to follow a post-peer review timeline that includes technical assistance, evidence of practice, and a fidelity peer review. If a fidelity review is warranted, the peer reviewers will have completed the contractual obligation.

Sixth Step: No later than the end of week 14 of the post-peer review process, the program will submit the Corrective Action Plan that will contain additional documentation demonstrating how the program is meeting the standard(s) that the peer review team found out of adherence. The additional documentation will be reviewed by the assigned peer review team and the IFSTAN coordinator*. It may take several attempts before the peer review team is confident that the program is adhering to the standard(s). Because of this, it is in the program’s interest to complete and submit the Corrective Action Plan as soon as possible.

Seventh Step: IF the additional documentation and Addendum is approved by the IFSTAN coordinator*, the program will be awarded the Iowa Family Support Credential. Notification will come via email from the community health consultant. The credential will be valid for five years.

IF the additional documentation is not in adherence within the timeline, the program will be required to wait one year before reapplying and beginning the credentialing process over again.