About the Alternate Iowa Family Support Credential

Eligibility for Alternate Process: Programs must abide by a comparable set of standards and have an external evaluation/review completed, at a minimum, every five years. The external review must demonstrate adherence to the program standards.

If programs are accredited through the Council on Accreditation (COA), the program will not need to submit a Crosswalk as the Iowa Family Support Standards are already aligned with COA.

Healthy Families America, Food and Nutrition Programs through Iowa State University Extension, and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) have completed a Crosswalk.

The program model must submit to the IFSTAN coordinator a crosswalk of program’s standards with the Iowa Family Support Standards. Typically, the person submitting the Crosswalk is at the state level that has program oversight and is submitting on behalf of the program model.

The IFSTAN coordinator will complete the technical review on all submissions to ensure completeness.

The IFSTAN coordinator will appoint a crosswalk review team of two members from the Quality Standards Workgroup to closely review the Crosswalk to ensure that there is alignment with every Iowa Family Support Standard. The crosswalk team will review the submitted Crosswalk independently and then review the results as a team. The crosswalk team will be responsible for all communication with the program regarding changes and revisions to the submitted Crosswalk. Once the crosswalk team determines that all standards are aligned, the team will forward the Crosswalk to the Quality Standards Workgroup.

The program will then submit the most recent review from the review body (Healthy Families America, Head Start, RIP, etc.) to the IFSTAN coordinator. IFSTAN coordinator will present Crosswalk and most recent outside review to the Quality Standards Workgroup.

The IFSTAN coordinator will carefully review the submitted materials to ensure that the outside accrediting body found the program to have met each of the applicable standards that align with the Iowa Family Support Standards. If there is anything that is questionable, the IFSTAN coordinator will ask the Quality Standards Workgroup for assistance. The program may be asked to submit additional supporting evidence.

If the Quality Standards Workgroup has any concerns that the standards are not completely adhered to, the group can decide to deny the request for the program to earn the Iowa Family Support Credential by the alternate method and may refer the program to the traditional method.

If the standards are being met, the program will be awarded an Iowa Family Support Credential.