Category Archives: Peer Review News

IFSC Peer Reviewers Needed

We are looking for qualified individuals to serve as peer reviewers for the Iowa Family Support peer review process. 

Who are Family Support Peer Reviewers?

Peer reviewers are dedicated professionals with substantial experience in family support programming and are committed to continuous quality improvement.  Peers must be knowledgeable about family support and the best practice standards, and have ability to openly, honestly, and fairly assess a program’s current ability to implement the standards.  Peers are individuals who are comfortable with conducting interviews and documentation review that focuses on the program’s positive changes and quality improvement efforts, while also helping program’s by identifying areas in need of further strengthening. Peers have a variety of backgrounds and may be program managers, family support trainers, human service educators at the college level, statewide family support system level coordinators, supervisors, and direct service providers.

Time Commitment & Certification

This commitment requires completion of two-day training.  Additionally, completion of at least one peer review in the first year following the training is required and one peer review must be completed in the second year. Once trained, a peer reviewer status is provisional until successful completion of two peer review site visits. A provisional peer reviewer will also be observed and evaluated by the IFSC coordinator during the course of a peer review.  After a peer has successfully completed two reviews and had a positive evaluation, they will be considered a certified Iowa Family Support peer reviewer.  In order to maintain certification, peers must complete a minimum of one peer review per year.  The peer review is scheduled for at 1-5 days depending on size of organization, type of program, and type of review. In addition there is preparation prior to the site visit that takes a minimum of one day.

Qualifications of an Iowa Family Support Peer Reviewer

Peer reviewers must have:
  1. A bachelor’s degree or higher in social work, human services, education or health related field;
  2. Successful completion of the Iowa Family Support peer reviewer training prior to selection and;
  3. One or more of the following: 
    • at least three years experience managing or supervising a family support program; or
    • at least five years experience as a direct service worker in a family support program; or
    • at least three years experience at a statewide family support system level; or
    • at least three years experience as a family support trainer; or
    • at least three years experience as an educator at the college level in a human service related field.
In addition to the above mentioned, applicants must demonstrate:
  1. knowledge of the Iowa Family Support Standards (after training);
  2. an ability to fairly and objectively evaluate family support programs;
  3. a commitment to continuous quality improvement;
  4. an ability to complete the initial peer reviewer training and at least one site visit per year.

Please contact the IFSC Coordinator with any questions about becoming a peer reviewer.

Updated Iowa Family Support Standards

Hopefully by now you have heard that the Iowa Family Support Standards have been updated effective 8.1.2019.  We have several documents that will help you become more familiar with the new standards as well as a link to a webinar that recently covered the updated standards and discussed the changes that need to be addressed in policy in practice.  Please see the links below.

Updated Standards Webinar

Updated Iowa Family Support Standards Webinar Slides

Iowa Family Support Standards – August 2019

Guide to Changed Standards – August 2019


Iowa Family Support Standards – September 1, 2019 Update

Effective August 1, 2019 the Iowa Family Support Standards have been updated.  Any program currently in TA or that has submitted their application for renewal may use the version of the standards they have been working off of (September 2016).  For any new programs who have not submitted an application for renewal or an initial credential as of August 1, 2019 they will use the updated standards.

Linked below you will find the new standards as well as a document that will help to figure out which standards have changed and how they have changed.

As always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call or email me.

Iowa Family Support Standards – August 2019

Guide to Changed Standards – August 2019


IFSTAN Updated Expedited Renewal Policy

IFSTAN has updated the expedited renewal policy which will be effective for all programs starting TA for expedited renewals after October 1, 2018.  Accompanying this new policy is a very important TA Bulletin that will help programs as they start thinking about the renewal.  Below are the links to the new policy and TA Bulletin.

Updated Expedited Renewal Process – Effective July 1, 2018

TA Bulletin #1 – Revision Dates on Policies